Hong Kong's CLP aims to start building LNG terminal at year-end

SINGAPORE, Feb 25 (Reuters) - CLP Power aims to start building Hong Kong’s first offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal at the end of 2019, the utility group’s chief executive said on Monday.

“We are still working on some final permits and approvals, but in the meantime we are getting on with the design works and gearing up for the awarding contract aspects,” CLP chief executive Richard Lancaster told a media briefing.

The terminal gained an environmental permit in October, although a final investment decision has not been taken.

Hong Kong is aiming to increase the use of natural gas to about 50 percent by 2020, from 22 percent as of 2012, as part of a shift in its electric power generation from coal.

CLP operates three power stations that supply electricity to Kowloon, the New Territories and most of the outlying islands, while Hong Kong Electric operates the Lamma Power Station that supplies electricity to Hong Kong and Lamma Island. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan Editing by Alexander Smith)