Taking the lead as a clean energy supplier, we operate a number of "green businesses" that seek to ensure that the energy we provide will contribute to a cleaner and greener environment. As a responsible and forward looking business, we are fully aware that energy will become an increasingly scarce resource in the future. We are therefore proactively looking into alternative sources of clean and renewable energy.
Building Cleaner Cities
Our operations in mainland China form the springboard for our "green businesses" in the region. In 2017, our piped city-gas businesses extended to 23 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, and served over 27 million customers. We are playing an important role in helping the country migrate from a coal to a gas economy. This widespread use of clean gas instead of diesel or coal is building cleaner cities throughout the country.
In addition to the use of clean natural gas as a fuel in our operations, our eco-friendly energy arm, ECO Environmental Investments Limited (ECO), also focuses on the development of new, renewable and eco-friendly energy opportunities. In view of the surge in global energy demand, challenges arising from climate change, and changes in China's national energy policy and energy mix, ECO is focusing on the development of new energy projects in China that are low in emissions and pollution.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
This project commenced in 2000 with the operation of five filling stations providing LPG, a significantly cleaner fuel than diesel, to taxis and minibuses in Hong Kong. We serve more than 18,000 LPG taxis and minibuses, accounting approximately 30% of the city’s auto LPG market share.
Liquefied Coalbed Methane (LCBM)
China's first large-scale commercial coalbed methane (CBM) liquefaction plant in Shanxi Province, opened at the end of 2008. Capture and use of CBM not only mitigates greenhouse gas emissions during the mining process, but also makes the best utilization of an otherwise wasted clean energy resource.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)/ Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
The Group's first compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station in Shaanxi Province is providing clean fuel for up to 250 heavy duty trucks a day. We now have around 50 CNG/ LNG refilling stations in operation and under construction across the country.
This greater availability of CNG/ LNG will hasten the switch to low-emission vehicles from the more traditional diesel-operated versions. We are now extending the business with more filling stations and routes in other new areas.
Clean Coal Energy
Capitalising on the abundant stores of coal in China, ECO’s methanol production plant in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region have been using coal gasification techniques to create syngas, which can be further synthesized into methanol. Methanol has dual applications as a chemical feed as well as being a highly efficient and clean fuel. We also extended the plant to produce ethylene glycol, a high-value chemical product in great demand for the manufacture of polyester fibres and antifreeze formulations.
Biomass into Energy
Biomass can be a valuable resource for the production of energy and chemicals. Applying ECO’s proprietary technology, a chemical plant for upgrading inedible waste oil to the 2nd
generation biodiesel – Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province was commissioned in 2017. The plant was certified by International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) and its products have almost 90% GHG saving against traditional fossil diesel. The HVO has been sold to European markets as transportation fuel. We have also developed new technologies for converting agricultural waste to chemical raw materials such as furfural and planning to launch a trial project in a region abundant in straw.