The Hongkong Electric Company Limited (HEC) supplies Hong Kong Island
and the neighbouring islands of Ap Lei Chau and Lamma; CLP Power Hong
Kong Limited (CLP Power) supplies Kowloon and the New Territories, including
Lantau and several outlying islands. The supply to consumers is at 50Hz
alternating current while the voltage is 220 volts single-phase and 380
The two supply companies are investor-owned. The Government
monitors their performance through mutually agreed Scheme of Control Agreements.
Current agreements with CLP Power and HEC came into effect on October
1, 1993, and January 1, 1994, respectively. Both will last for 15 years.
The first and second five-yearly interim reviews were completed in early
1999 and late 2003, respectively. The agreements require each company
to seek the approval of the Government for certain aspects of their financial
plans, including projected tariff levels. The agreements do not grant
the companies any exclusive rights. They are not franchises, nor do they
define a supply area for either company or exclude new entrants to the
Electricity for HEC's supply areas is supplied from
the Lamma Power Station. At year-end, total installed capacity (i.e. rated
power output of generators) at the Lamma Power Station was 3 420 megawatts
(MW). In May 2000, the Government approved HEC's new power station at
the Lamma Extension and the installation of the first 300MW gas combined-cycle
generator. The unit was scheduled to be commissioned in 2004. Subsequent
to the review conducted at end-2003, the Government agreed with HEC's
proposal to defer the commissioning of the unit to 2006. HEC's transmission
system operates at 275 kilovolts (kV), 132kV and 66kV and distribution
is effected mainly at 22kV, 11kV and 380 volts.
The Castle Peak Power Company Limited (CAPCO), which
is 60 per cent owned by ExxonMobil Energy Limited (formerly known as Exxon
Energy Limited) and 40 per cent by CLP Power, supplies electricity to
CLP Power from its Black Point (1 875MW), Castle Peak (4 108MW) and Penny's
Bay (300MW) power stations, with the total installed capacity being 6
283MW. Two more 312.5MW generators are scheduled to be commissioned at
the Black Point power station during 2005-06.
The associated transmission and distribution systems
are wholly owned by CLP Power. Its transmission system operates at 400kV
and 132kV, and distribution is effected mainly at 33kV, 11kV and 380 volts.
The CLP Power and HEC transmission systems are interconnected
by a cross-harbour link. This provides emergency back-up and achieves
cost savings to consumers through economic energy transfers between the
two systems and a reduction in the amount of generating capacity that
needs to be kept as spinning reserve against the tripping of other units.
The interconnection link, commissioned in 1981, currently has a total
capacity of 720 megavolt-amperes (MVA) (i.e. 720 000 kilovolt-amperes
CLP Power's transmission system is also interconnected
with the electricity network in Guangdong Province which facilitates the
export and import of electricity to and from the province. The electricity
sales to Guangdong are made from existing reserve generating capacity
of CLP Power and are governed by an agreement with the Government, signed
in March 1992, under which CLP Power's consumers receive priority of supply
and 80 per cent of the profit from the sales.
In 1985, the Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Company
Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CLP Holdings Limited) and the
Guangdong Nuclear Investment Company Limited (now wholly owned by the
China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company Limited) established the
Guangdong Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, to build and operate
the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station at Daya Bay in Guangdong. This station
comprises two 984MW pressurised water reactors which went into commercial
operation in February and May 1994, respectively. CLP Power undertook
to buy about 70 per cent of the station's power to meet part of the longer-term
demand for electricity in its supply area.
Through its affiliated company, the Hong Kong Pumped
Storage Development Company Limited, CLP Power has the right to use 50
per cent of the 1 200MW capacity of Phase 1 of the Guangzhou Pumped Storage
Power Station, at Conghua. Off-peak electricity from the CAPCO system
and the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station is used to pump water from a lower
reservoir to an upper one. The water is allowed to flow downhill during
the day to generate electricity to meet Hong Kong's peak demand.
Three-year Demand Side Management (DSM) Agreements
between the Government and the two power companies expired in June 2003.
The DSM programmes included rebate schemes for lighting and air-conditioning
systems for non-residential customers, as well as other education and
information schemes. All rebate schemes ended on June 30 and education
and information schemes were completed by year-end.
The Electricity Ordinance, with its subsidiary regulations,
is the main enabling legislation on electrical safety. It sets out the
legal framework encompassing all the areas within which the concerned
legislation shall apply, including the registration of electrical contractors/workers
and competent persons, the safety standards and requirements for electricity
supply, electricity supply lines, electrical wiring and products.
The 2003 edition of the Code of Practice for the Electricity
(Wiring) Regulations was issued in December, and served to give new and
revised guidelines on technical requirements for compliance with the Electricity
Since 1990, the regulations concerning registration
of electrical contractors and workers, the safety of electrical wiring,
the supply of safe household electrical products, and the protection of
electricity supply lines from third party damage have come into effect
in stages. At December 2003, some 8 700 electrical contractors and 59
000 electrical workers held valid registration. Also, some 880 competent
persons had been approved for locating underground electricity cables.
During enforcement of the Electricity Ordinance in
2003, the Government conducted 13 000 site inspections to
check the safety standards of electrical installations and electrical
product supply outlets, and prosecution action was initiated in 207 cases.