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Gas idea: City goes high tech to halt vapor trail

2009. 7 August


People living near or passing by city gas stations will soon notice a major lift in air quality and odor.

All Shanghai gas stations, oil-storage facilities and delivery trucks will be upgraded with high-tech devices to save large amounts of gasoline that normally waft into the air.

The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday that the gasoline-recovery system would be in full swing before the start of the 2010 World Expo next May.

The city is home to about 800 gas stations, more than 20 tank storage facilities and about 200 gasoline delivery trucks.

About 20,000 tons of gasoline vaporize into the atmosphere in Shanghai annually, a key reason for haze and pollution.

The bureau said by last month 50 gas stations had applied to have gasoline-recovery systems installed and 10 had completed the process.

To streamline the project, the city government gas included it into its fourth Three-Year Environmental Protection Action Plan from 2009 to 2011 and is offering instant application and approval procedures.

According to officials, the system is capable of saving more than 90 percent of gasoline emissions while discharging fuel and filling vehicles.

"The government has simplified administrative procedures but will give no subsidies in this project, since investment in system can be recovered through fuel savings," said Xi Ailing, a bureau official.

Officials said Beijing brought the system in before the 2008 Olympics and the 20,000 tons of fuel it saved a year could fill 900,000 vehicles.

An upgrade for a single filling station costs between 200,000 yuan (US$29,274) and 300,000 yuan and takes two to three weeks for completion.

The Shanghai bureau will oversee the renovation process to encompass all areas of the city.

Gas stations failing to complete renovations before a deadline to be decided will face penalties including fines or even business suspension.