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Scope of pilot scheme for water-cooled air-conditioning systems extended

The Government today (December 20) announced the designation of another 17 areas for inclusion in a pilot scheme under which owners of non-domestic developments are allowed to use fresh water for evaporative cooling in air-conditioning systems, making a total of 45 designated areas in the territory.

The scheme was first launched on June 1, 2000 for two years with six designated areas. It was then expanded in June 6, 2001 for inclusion of 11 additional areas in the scheme. Its scope was further expanded to cover a total of 28 designated areas in May 31, 2002 with application timeframe extended for two years to May 31, 2004.

In view of the positive feedback from owners of non-domestic buildings on the scheme, the Government has now decided to further expand its scope to designate more areas.

The 45 designated areas of the scheme comprise nine on Hong Kong Island, 19 in Kowloon and 17 in the New Territories. Of them, 17 are newly designated. Meanwhile, the sizes of 11 existing areas have been enlarged.

The pilot scheme is a Government initiative to promote energy efficiency through the use of fresh water evaporative cooling towers. A working group has been set up for the pilot scheme, comprising representatives from the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau and eight departments, namely the Buildings Department, Drainage Services Department , Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Environmental Protection Department, Department of Health, Lands Department, Planning Department and Water Supplies Department.

The aims of this pilot scheme are:

* to promote energy efficient water-cooled air conditioning systems;

* to assess the impacts of such systems in infrastructure;

* to assess the health and environmental effects of such systems; and

* to provide information for studying the implementation of water-cooled air-conditioning systems in Hong Kong.

Under the scheme, owners of existing or new non-domestic buildings in the designated areas may apply to the Water Supplies Department for approval of water supplies, and send a copy of the application to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department for vetting of design and registration of the cooling towers.

Applicants are also required to submit plans on the construction of supporting framework for approval by Buildings Department if a framework is required in the installation of cooling towers.

The location plans of all designated areas under the scheme can be viewed at EMSD website: http://www.emsd.gov.hk/.

Detailed application procedures and the operation and maintenance requirements are available from the Energy Efficiency Office of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department on 11/F, 111 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. For enquiries, please call 2882 8011.

End/Friday,December 20, 2002

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