Local company aims for ‘cleaner city’ with natural gas vehicles

Friday, March 13, 2009
Issue 639, Page 3
Word count: 404
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A local vehicle equipment company is planning to bring in technology from Italy to convert automobiles from petrol to compressed natural gas in Macau.

Speaking at the sidelines of a seminar yesterday to introduce the technology and relevant equipment, Sanny Ho Weng-fat, director of Senen Natural Gas Vehicle Equipment Company Ltd, said he was confident that Macau would become a “much cleaner city” by adopting this green technology on automobiles.

Not only is natural gas more environmental friendly, it is also less explosive and can help drivers save up to 70 percent of their petrol expenses when comparing to other kinds of fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) which is being widely used nowadays, Ho added.

Converted vehicles will be able to use regular petrol and natural gas at the same time. However, company director said the cost to modify a car’s configuration could only be determined after a marketing research is conducted.

“But I believe that the cost won’t be too much, for example a taxi should be able to gain a full investment return within a year,” Ho said.

With regards to the construction of a natural gas station, Ho told reporters that the company could build one on the side of an existing petrol station, which is “very common in many countries.”

“It’s not necessary to lay pipelines underground, as we can make use of mobile stations, or mother-daughter stations, with the mother station being situated in the power plant whilst the daughter station being in the public petrol station,” he said.

The company director also said that the use of natural gas on vehicles could better penetrate into Macau if the SAR government could offer benefits to drivers for making the switch.

However, Ho said the formal launch of the technology in Macau would depend on when the government is going to announce who the distributor of natural gas will be and how long the distributor will take to develop the new energy.

According to the government statistics, between 2000 and 2007, the growth in the number of vehicles reached 63 percent, representing a proportion of three persons to one automobile based on the half a million population.

The modification technology, developed by M.T.M. – BRC Gas Equipment from Italy, has already been introduced in more than 70 countries and regions, and also established partnerships with a number of original equipment manufacturers such as Ford, Jaguar, Volkswagen and Mitsubishi.

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