10 December 2002

Finland’s Kemira Metalkat Oy announced it was awarded a contract by the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to become a supplier of diesel oxidation catalysts in the heavy-duty vehicle retrofit program in Hong Kong. The Kemira catalyst—designed to control diesel particulate emissions—is trademarked the Diesel Particle Oxidation Catalysts (POC™).

The heavy-duty vehicle retrofit program, scheduled to start by the end of the year, is an extension of a light-duty vehicle retrofit completed in October 2001. Under the heavy-duty program, the Hong Kong government provides subsidies for retrofitting pre-Euro vehicles of over four tons gross vehicle weight with PM-reducing devices such as catalytic converters. The current stage of the program covers vehicles operating within Hong Kong limits (i.e., not traveling into mainland China), using Hong Kong fuel of 50 ppm sulfur. The overall number of such vehicles is estimated at 30,000.

Based on engine size, the vehicles are divided into 5 groups. For each group of vehicles, there are two contractors providing catalytic converter installation services. Kemira said, it will be supplying catalysts for all five vehicle categories. Kemira catalysts will be supplied and installed in co-operation with two enterprises, Finnkatalyt Oy from Finland and Exhaust Control Industries Pte Ltd from Singapore, together with their local partners in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong EPD has also issued a call for tenders for the second stage of the heavy-duty retrofit program, involving vehicles that travel into Mainland and thus need to operate using a 0.2% sulfur fuel. Such vehicles number at about 10,000. The tender will close in February 2003.

In total, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has budgeted HK$600 million ($77 million USD) for subsidizing both stages of the retrofit (i.e., both Hong Kong and Mainland going vehicles). Participation in the retrofit is voluntary for vehicle owners. The subsidy should cover the cost of the retrofit. However, if the contractors charge more than the subsidy, the customers will be liable for the difference.

Source: Kemira, Hong-Kong EPD