(9 July 2023) The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited ("Towngas") and Bravo Transport Services Limited ("Bravo Transport"), the parent company of Citybus, signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") recently to explore the use of hydrogen as an alternative source of fuel for public buses, and to exchange information on hydrogen-related business and marketing plans. The signing of the MOU has marked a new chapter in the development of hydrogen energy transportation in Hong Kong.
As laid out within the MOU, the two companies will collaborate on a project for a Citybus depot on Hong Kong Island. Towngas will be responsible for the design and extension of the existing pipe network, the supply of fuel cell graded hydrogen, the installation of a hydrogen extraction facility and the provision of a maintenance service for the above equipment. Bravo Transport’s operating company Citybus will be responsible for procuring and maintaining hydrogen buses, and deploying and operating hydrogen buses on selected routes to obtain relevant operational data and information. It is estimated that the project will take 12 months to complete. Upon completion, the hydrogen extraction facility will be able to extract about 500 kg of hydrogen per day, which is sufficient for the operation of 10-12 hydrogen buses for one day.
Dr. Wan Yufeng, Citybus Director and Templewater Partner and Head of Impact Investing, and Mr. Daniel Fung Man-kit, Towngas Head of Strategy & Innovation and Commercial – Hong Kong Utility, signed the MOU on behalf of both parties, witnessed by Mr. Cliff Zhang Kun, Bravo Transport Chairman and Templewater Chairman and CEO, and Mr. Peter Wong Wai-yee, Towngas Managing Director. Government representatives, including Ms. Diane Wong Shuk-han, the Under Secretary for Environment and Ecology, and Mr. Vincent Chow Hau-keung, the Assistant Director of Electrical & Mechanical Services, attended the signing ceremony to witness a major step forward in the development of hydrogen energy in Hong Kong.
Under Secretary Ms. Diane Wong Shuk-han witnessed the cooperation between Bravo Transport and Towngas, and expressed “thanks for their support on the policy direction of Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 and involvement in promoting the development of green transport, with a view to achieving Hong Kong’s target of zero vehicle emissions and carbon neutrality before 2050.”
Dr. Wan Yufeng, Citybus Director and Templewater Partner and Head of Impact Investing, said, “We are excited to work with Towngas which is the oldest energy company in Hong Kong around the introduction, supply and use of hydrogen for transportation purposes. We believe that Towngas will be a strong partner, particularly for the introduction of our second hydrogen refuelling station based in Hong Kong Island with their extensive experience and gas supply chain as we move towards a zero-emission future. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with other key industry players to make Hong Kong a pioneer and leader in new energy transformation.”
Towngas has over 160 years of experience in town gas and hydrogen operations. Mr. Peter Wong Wai-yee, Towngas Managing Director, expressed his confidence in the partnership, “Around half of the town gas is composed of hydrogen. Through our existing gas pipeline network across Hong Kong, high-purity hydrogen can be extracted and delivered by simply installing a hydrogen extraction facility at the customer’s end. Using gas pipelines to transport hydrogen avoids the potential risks associated with road transport of hydrogen, saves transportation costs and is a safe and efficient solution. With this collaboration with Bravo Transport, two companies with different strengths have joined forces and are becoming well-versed in the use of hydrogen, paving the way for everyone to use hydrogen energy with ease in the future. I look forward to the Towngas-powered hydrogen buses serving the public as soon as possible in order to build a sustainable urban transport system.”
With the signing of the MOU, the two sides will establish a strategic alliance and work together to assist the Hong Kong Government in setting up regulations and appropriate subsidy schemes for the use of hydrogen in buses and heavy vehicles. The MOU is valid for one year and may be extended by mutual agreement.
Citybus is owned by Bravo Transport Services and is committed to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Hong Kong that we serve, whilst providing safe and reliable bus services. The company employs over 5,000 staff, operates over 1,700 buses across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories and carries over 1 million customers per day. Citybus has an industry leading bus fleet with all buses operating at Euro5 emissions standard or above.
Established in 1862, Towngas is the first public utility in Hong Kong and one of Asia’s leading energy suppliers, with world-class corporate governance and operations. Building on the solid foundation of its gas business, Towngas entered the Chinese mainland market in 1994 to further expand its operations. Today, its business covers upstream, midstream and downstream natural gas, water supply and wastewater treatment, municipal waste recycling, emerging green energy, telecommunications, information technology, engineering services, manufacturing, retail and other related lifestyle services, with over 180 renewable energy projects in 24 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on the mainland. With the expansion of its diversified businesses, Towngas has become a well-established, nationwide, multi-sectoral group with a focus on the environmental and energy industries.