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August, 2014:

Jersey’s toxic waste problem a warning

Thursday, 28 August, 2014

I refer to the letter by Chan Fung-chun (“Superficial platitudes on waste [1]”, August 26) berating Elvis W. K. Au, assistant director of environmental protection, on the limited landfill space in Hong Kong.

Having just returned from my home in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, for a summer holiday, I was perplexed and interested in the similar situation there regarding a recently constructed energy-from-waste incinerator. The disposal of the waste ash does not seem to have been properly addressed.

A report in the Jersey Evening Post [in 2012] said the island may require an additional reclamation site “if a solution is not found to deal with the island’s toxic ash”.

This ash came from burning waste in the incinerator. It was buried in lined pits that were close to capacity.

The paper said that “the move has sparked strong criticism from environmental campaign groups, who fear that the toxic substance could eventually leak into the sea”.

This is becoming a major problem for the tiny island of Jersey, and I have been following the for-and-against arguments for our own incinerator here in Hong Kong with the proposed siting in Shek Kwu Chau.

For Jersey, it may well be that there will be two islands soon, one for the inhabitants and one, getting increasingly large every year, for the toxic waste.

Peter Keeping, Causeway Bay

dynamco Aug 28th 2014


In September TTS started the tender process for the export of air pollution control residue (APCr), this is now well underway. Jersey will be exporting both IBA and APCr, thereby reducing the harmful elements stored in the ground. The Transport & Technical Services Minister, Deputy Kevin Lewis, said “When I became Minister I said I did not want to leave this material at La Collette as a legacy for future generations.” (HINT!)

“Plans to invest in increasing recycling/pursuing the option of exporting Guernsey’s waste have been approved”
HKG ENB officials were impressed with NIMBY incineration method in Sweden- which imports trash to burn to keep its incinerators operational, then it ships the toxic ash back to the trash origin.
In HKG’s case, we are repeatedly told our landfills are almost full. Yet we have no source separation of waste legislation, we have no Govt organised collection of voluntarily separated recyclables o/s housing estates, our alleged recycling figures are ‘cooked’ as revealed when Operation Green Fence stranded imported transit trash ‘recycling stats’ intended for China,here.
So our Govt will have to beg for the building of HKG’s own ‘Pulau Semakau’ island in the sea as the new ash lagoons. Unlike Singapore, HKG is in a typhoon area & no doubt the future super typhoons will wash everything into the sea.
Great thinking – NOT.

Airport Authority’s fixation with third runway is blinding it to other options

Thursday, 28 August, 2014

Albert Cheng says more feasible ways to reduce airspace congestion must be considered, not least because of the hefty costs of airport expansion

Over the years, the Airport Authority has been funding research and more research to legitimise its claim that Hong Kong needs a third runway. The findings have boiled down to a single conclusion – that the proposed three-runway system is environmentally acceptable and economically indispensable.

Another such report – an environmental impact assessment – was submitted to a subcommittee of the Advisory Council on the Environment for endorsement earlier this month. In a nutshell, the document concludes that mitigation measures can limit the potential damage to the environment to within permissible levels.

This is what sociologists refer to as “instrumental rationality” in action. It is all about finding ways to achieve one’s defined goals with the available resources, whether or not the goal is worth the cost.

Thus, a person who believes he is a dog might be considered instrumentally rational as long as he acts in accordance with canine beliefs and desires. If he’s got his eye on a bone for lunch, he would yap and howl in order to get it.

The third runway is the metaphorical bone for the Airport Authority. To the exclusion of other considerations, it has convinced itself that a third runway is the only way to keep Hong Kong vibrant as an aviation hub. The feasibility studies – economic, technical and environmental – are just a means to that preconceived end.

The authority’s latest bark came in the form of its environmental report.

Green groups have dismissed the assessment as a whitewash. More importantly, members of the council’s subcommittee were sceptical, too.

In particular, they voiced doubts that the Chinese white dolphins, which would be displaced during construction, would come back to a new marine park as claimed.

After three days of deliberation, the panel withheld its recommendations. Members said the report lacked hard data to substantiate its claims that the environmental impact would be acceptable.

This should be a wake-up call for the authority.

Environmentalists say there are alternative ways to solve the supposed congestion at Chek Lap Kok.

Green Sense’s Roy Tam Hoi-pong noted that the Chinese military required flights leaving Chek Lap Kok to enter mainland airspace at a minimum height of 4,800 metres. To do this, planes from Hong Kong have to first head south and fly in circles to climb to that altitude, wasting up to 20 minutes of flight time. The reverse applies for flights landing in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s existing two runways are designed to accommodate between 82 and 86 flights an hour. The tally actually achieved is fewer than that, thanks to this “sky wall”.

What Tam did not point out was that, whatever the military requirement, there is a stronger reason why careful coordination is necessary : the Hong Kong and Shenzhen runways are positioned close by, at right angles to one another.

During the economic slowdown in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, the Shenzhen airport was looking for buyers. Some Hong Kong businessmen were serious about acquiring the facility. Unfortunately, the Hong Kong authorities sat on their hands and failed to help the businessmen clinch a deal. The window of opportunity was lost.

If both Chek Lap Kok and Shenzhen were under the same command, aircraft movements could be more easily coordinated, within one large airspace rather than the two disparate ones now.

The authority’s executive director for corporate development, Wilson Fung Wing-yip, told the press that once the third runway was operational, the sky wall problem would be solved. But he did not spell out how.

He has put the cart before the horse. If the Hong Kong authorities can be more determined in dismantling this invisible barrier, taxpayers will not have to foot an estimated bill of some HK$200 billion for an additional runway.

This should be a big enough economic incentive to demand that our negotiators try harder.

Could we pay off Shenzhen with that amount to ask them to move their airport to a location where the sky wall will no longer be relevant to us? This is, of course, a long shot.

The former head of the Observatory, Lam Chiu-ying, suggested a more realistic solution. He argues that the airport’s capacity can be markedly improved by allowing the use of more wide-body planes.

Building on that premise, we can follow the practice of other advanced economies, whereby priority is given to bigger aircraft. The remaining capacity can then be auctioned to smaller planes. This can boost efficiency and raise revenues.

We may eventually need a third runway decades down the road. Meanwhile, we don’t need to act like a dog.

Approval for Invergordon waste incinerator quashed

Mohamed Al Fayed Mohamed Al Fayed opposed the incinerator

A decision to approve plans for a controversial £43m waste incinerator in Invergordon has been quashed following a legal challenge.

Combined Power and Heat (Highlands) was given the go-ahead in November 2012 following a public inquiry.

Highland Council and former Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed’s Ross Estates challenged the decision.

Judges have now ruled that the inquiry must be re-opened, but only deal with the issue of what waste is handled.

Mr Al Fayed has spoken out in the past against the incinerator.

Lawyers for both the local authority and the businessman’s Ross Estates had argued that the entire case should be heard again by a public inquiry.

But the Lord President, Lord Gill, who heard the appeal at the Court of Session in Edinburgh with Lord Menzies and Lord Clarke, took the view that was “unnecessary”.

The judges ruled that a condition allowing the plant to accept a maximum of 100,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste from within the Highland Council area, but also some from outside the region, should be examined by a public inquiry.

The condition was one of 16 attached to planning consent granted by a Scottish government planning reporter two years ago.

Combined Power and Heat (Highlands) has offered to place a restriction on the waste, but judges said opponents to the scheme should be given a fair chance to make submissions.

Highland Council has welcomed the ruling.

Councillor Maxine Smith said: “I am delighted that we have the opportunity to go back to inquiry to argue that planning permission should be refused.

“This incinerator is not wanted in Invergordon by the majority of people living here.”

Councillor Martin Rattray added: “I think this is a positive outcome and I am sure the community will welcome this as they have worked so hard and fought with such enthusiasm.”

28 August 2014

State approves tax incentives for $193 million Pike County project to turn natural gas into synthetic fuel

Would create 30 full-time jobs paying average hourly wages of $34.16

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2014) — Pike County could soon be the location of a $193 million synthetic oil production facility with estimated production of 1,700 barrels a day. Kentucky economic development assistance program  officials in Frankfort today game preliminary approval for $18 million in tax incentives to RCC Big Shoal LLC.

RCC BigShoal is a newly formed company that has developed technology to convert natural gas to synthetic diesel fuel, synthetic base oils and lubricant oils, and synthetic naphtha, according to information presented this morning at the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority’s monthly meeting.

The KEDFA board must approve tax incentive packages that private sector companies negotiate with the state Cabinet for Economic Development under its portfolio of programs. Companies lower their future tax bills for state and local taxes if they fulfill commitments to invest in Kentucky and/or hire state residents.

The project would create 30 full-time jobs paying average hourly wages of $34.16, which does not include benefits. Pike County’s most recent unemployment rate was 12.2 percent, much higher than the state average of 7.5 percent. Information presented at today’s KEDFA board meeting did not list a possible start date for the Pike County project.

RCL Chemical Conversion LLC is listed as owning at least 20 percent of RCC Big Shoal, which could receive state tax breaks through the cabinet’s Incentives for Energy Independence Act program, which the General Assembly enacted in 2007. IEIA incents companies that make or sell non-fossil fuel and alternative energy products, including transportation fuel; products created from coal or biomass; and alternative power generation.

David L. Farmer, president and CEO of RCL Chemical, is the principal of RCC Big Shoal, which filed Kentucky papers in mid-February, according to Farmer previously led construction, startup and operation of the world’s largest commercial scale chemical plasma gasification plant at Dow Corning’s Midland, Mich., facility.

According to the website of RCL Chemical Conversion, which is incorporated in Delaware, its gas-to-liquids technology is the “commercial solution for marketing remote U.S. natural gas reserves and the oversupply of ethane.”

It is pursuing modular GTL opportunities for remote and smaller gas fields where scale has been a limiting factor. Estimates are that less than 10 percent of the world’s gas fields are capable of sustaining a 10,000 barrels per day facility, according to RCL Chemical Conversion’s website.

“However, scaling down to a 2,000 bpd production range is estimated to open 70 percent of the world’s gas fields to economic viability,” it states. “Hence, approximately 30 years of energy independence immediately derived from the U.S.A’s newfound and now procurable natural gas reserves.

Eastern Kentucky’s shale gas reserves could fit that scaled-down model.

Kentucky shale gas activity that rose with the development of hydraulic fracturing techniques has fallen off the past few years in favor more easily worked and more productive plays in the Marcellus Shale formation under Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. In addition to its Devonian Shale assets, Kentucky is on multiple major gas transmission pipeline routes running between the nation’s main energy processing cluster on the Gulf Coast and the prime consumption markets in the Northeast corridor.

The proposed Pike County project meets IEIA statue conditions, according to the state’s Department of Energy Development and Independence, and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research. Kentucky’s Department of Revenue reported to KEDFA that RCC Big Shoal is in good standing.

Zero Waste Week: a challenge to send nothing to landfill

Rachelle Strauss

Wednesday 27 August 2014

“Pass to all emergency services. This is a major incident. I repeat; this is a major incident. We require all standby aircraft available, and all available land-based emergency crews as we are in danger of losing Boscastle and all the people in it.”

That was the message to RAF Kinloss Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) from Capt Pete McLelland (Royal Marines) flying above Boscastle, on 16 August 2004. On that day one of Britain’s worst rainstorms was unleashed on the hills above Boscastle, and I was standing in the village holding my three-year-old daughter in my arms. It’s a strange thing when you wonder whether you’ll ever see your husband alive again. Weird thoughts go through your head. My thoughts seemed quite logical – I believed, rightly or wrongly, that everything I’d read about climate change was happening. Not in 50 years’ time, but now. And in that moment, I decided to be part of the solution – for my daughter’s sake.

Boscastle floods

Emergency workers search a house in Boscastle, two days after the flood caused devastation, sweeping away cars and buildings. Photograph: John D McHugh/AP

According to The Story of Stuff, only 1% of the items we buy are still in use six months after they are bought. All the latest gadgets we can’t live without, the tools that promise to make our lives easier, the so-called must-have thing that guarantees us to be more popular/sexy/healthy – the majority of them end up in landfill in under a year.

We generate around 177m tons of waste every year in England alone. This poor use of resources costs businesses and households money and causes environmental damage.

And while it can be a depressing picture if we dwell there too long; I’m all about being part of the solution. A few years after the Boscastle floods, I decided to reduce the amount of waste I send to landfill. I’d seen people’s livelihoods washed out to sea and it made me realise that I wanted to make better use of the resources I had. I started a blog about reducing my waste to keep myself accountable. But every day, people from across the world tuned in to see what I’d found in the back of my fridge or hiding in the attic. And most importantly – what I was going to do about it.

A few months after I started blogging, a fellow waste geek, Karen Cannard from the Rubbish Diet, challenged me to have my own zero waste week. I asked my readers to join in to keep me company and 100 people signed up. At the end of the week I was inundated with emails telling me what fun people had, and now that it was over they intended to keep new habits in place – and so the annual Zero Waste Week campaign was born.

Rachelle Strauss' zero waste week

This year’s Zero Waste Week asks you what ‘one more thing’ can you do to reduce your household waste. Photograph: Claire Holgate

The growth of the campaign over the past seven years has been beyond amazing. What started off as a few individual householders has now grown into several thousand, with small and large businesses signing up, local authorities and large corporations all pledging to make a difference.

Zero Waste Week (1-7 September 2014) is predominantly a social media campaign. People sign up to the mailing list with their email address and pledge. Every year has a theme and this year’s is “One More Thing” in answer to the question: “What one more thing could you do to reduce landfill waste?” If you’re new to this, perhaps you’ll say no to disposable carrier bags and start using a reusable one. If you’ve been reducing waste for a while maybe it’s time to swap a disposable product for a reusable one. And if you’re a bit of a rubbish geek already, you could have your very own zero waste week with the aim of sending nothing at all to landfill. It’s an intense week. I like to think of it as a boot camp for bins – where size zero is acceptable.

I spent a year showing that you could send almost nothing to landfill – we filled just one old fashioned dustbin in 2009 – and now I just do my best, working in more of an advisory role and encouraging others to grab the zero waste baton. After all, it has much more impact if every household and business reduces their waste by a tenth than one household who go to the nth degree. Zero Waste Week applies to me the same way as to others – it gives me the opportunity to stop and think about my choices over the past year and make a commitment to get good habits back in place.

Recycling figures: plain rubbish


2012 – reasons for Panel EA rejection of ENB landfill / incinerator package
“13. Details of the funding proposals for the three landfill extension projects are set out in LC Paper No. CB(1)1369/11-12(01) which is hyperlinked in the Appendix. According to the Government, IWMF would require some seven years for reclamation, construction and commission, while landfill extension would need a few years for site preparation works
15. The Panel held another special meeting on 20 April 2012 to continue discussion on the funding proposals. Noting that many measures pertaining to the Policy Framework had yet to be implemented , members were opposed to the reliance on landfills for waste disposal in view of the associated environmental nuisances, as well as the long lead time and cost incurred from restoration of landfills. They stressed the need for an holistic package of waste management measures (including waste reduction, separation and recycling) with waste incineration as a last resort and better communication between the two terms of Government on environmental policies, in particular on the need for incineration. They also urged the Administration to identify other suitable outlying islands for IWMF and promote the local recycling industry. In view of the foregoing, members did not support the submission of the funding proposals to the Public Works Subcommittee for consideration.”

actually gone backwards as the ‘new’ figures show– the China ‘Operation Green Fence’ blocking of transhipped dirty plastic from overseas to China via HKG exposed this sham of using the plastic trash transhipment figures as ‘local recycling’. ENB/EPD were caught out cheating by ‘Operation Green Fence’. The ENB denied the container loads of blocked plastics were locally landfilled – so what happened to it ?

SCMP Recycling figures: plain rubbish

CTA says: this only came to light due to China’s ‘Operation Green Fence’
ENB has been using data of containers of trash transhipped through here to China in their local recycling figures
When China blocked the transhipment of unwashed plastic imports the shxt hit the fan + the divisive ‘local recycling’ practice came to light
Still waiting to find out which local landfill they buried the dirty plastic waste in

Recycling figures: plain rubbish?

Wednesday, 29 January, 2014

Cheung Chi-fai

Overhaul of system is promised as officials admit estimates of the amount of waste the city recycles have been drastically overstated

Officials have admitted that estimates of the amount of Hong Kong waste being recycled – once put at over 50 per cent – have been drastically overstated. They said yesterday that the figures were distorted by “external factors” beyond their control and the system for calculating them would be overhauled. The admission came as the Environmental Protection Department reported a slashed recycling rate of 39 per cent in 2012, down from 48 the previous year and a peak of 52 in 2010.

The department blamed fluctuations in the waste trade and irregularities in export declarations for the distortions. In an effort to improve its data collection, it will introduce extra measures, as recommended by a consultant commissioned to look into the problem. But the officials said they did not believe the distortion would affect policy-making or the achievement of targets set out in the waste-management blueprint released last year.

World Green Organisation chief executive William Yu Yuen-ping said he was concerned about the “inflation of the recycling rate” and urged the department to set up an expert group to review the system. Friends of the Earth said the public would be confused by the figures. According to the 2012 solid waste monitoring report released by the department yesterday, Hong Kong recycled just 2.16 million tonnes of waste, 860,000 tonnes less than 2011. About 60 per cent of the shortfall was due to a sharp drop in the trade in plastic waste. Last year, a reported 320,000 tonnes of plastic waste was recycled, down from 840,000 tonnes in 2011 and 1.58 million tonnes in 2010. But the amount dumped in landfills largely remained steady at 600,000 to 700,000 tonnes during the same period. Since then, officials have used the disposal rate per person, rather than the recycling rate, as the key indicator to measure policy effectiveness.

In 2012, the former rate rose 3 per cent to 1.27kg. The department said the recycling rate had been calculated from waste export figures compiled by census and customs officers, and the booming trade in recent years might have inflated the figure. It also admitted that the formula could not accurately reflect local recycling efforts since it also included waste imported and then exported after processing. “We believe the 2012 figure is closer to the reality of how the city fared in recycling after a slump in the trade,” said an official, speaking anonymously.

Officials refused to be drawn on whether the admission showed that the recycling rate, used by former environment chiefs to highlight the city’s progress in dealing with its waste problem, had little value. “The public still have expectations for this figure and we will try to give the best estimate,” said an official, adding that the formula was widely adopted elsewhere in the world. Greeners’ Action executive director Angus Ho Hon-wai said the government should set up a registration system for recyclers in order to get first-hand recycling data. Lau Yiu-shing, a local waste recycler, admitted some operators might have wrongly reported export figures to suit their needs. But the scope of doing so had shrunk as mainland customs stepped up checks in recent years.

Let spoiled airlines fund Hong Kong’s third runway, not the public purse

Tuesday, 22 July, 2014

Jake van der Kamp

An association representing 2,500 pilots in Hong Kong has voiced support for a third airport runway, saying air traffic congestion during peak hours is already forcing planes to wait 15 minutes or more to take off.

This third runway crowd is certainly getting mighty casual with our money in its demands that we lay out up to HK$200 billion to save airline customers the inconvenience of taking a flight at a not entirely suitable time.

These travellers must wait for 15 minutes if they travel at peak hours. What horror. How can they possibly put up with it? Surely Hong Kong is obliged to remedy this breach of human rights.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all in favour of a third runway if air passengers and cargo shippers are willing to pay for it. Any financier, given data that the airport authority has ready to hand, can work out in less than 10 minutes what this would amount to per traveller.

If airline customers are willing to pay it, well and good. We can call in the dredgers and start work tomorrow. If they are not willing to pay it, then here is the big question: Why should the Hong Kong public purse pay for something that the beneficiaries themselves say is not worth their while?

Just auction the landing slots at peak hours and we will soon find out what price airline passengers set on reducing a 15 minute wait. It will be a good deal less than HK$200 billion, however you cut it.

The airlines misuse our airport at present with flights of unsuitably small aircraft to unsuitably minor destinations in China. These should be served by other regional airports. We run 57 per cent more flights at Chek Lap Kok than we did at the old Kai Tak airport for the same number of passengers.

And here are some further examples of how casual the Airport Authority is with your money:

Did you know that these people have so far spent HK$694 million on consultancy for this third runway project although the go-ahead stage is not even in sight yet? It certainly was the fanciest all-singing, all-dancing consultation paper in Hong Kong’s history.

But what’s a hundred million here or there? Or a billion, which it will soon be at this rate. Loose change, that’s all, nothing really compared to what they expect us to spend if the project actually gets going.

And another example, courtesy of that sleuth of uncomfortable corporate facts, David Webb. Did you know that the airport’s landing and parking charges are now an average of 15 per cent less than they were in 1998?

It’s a fact – reduced from 1998. This same airport authority that wants to dig into our pockets for HK$200 billion is itself so in the pockets of the airlines that, while begging money from us, it substantially cut what it charges them.

Let’s put this into further perspective. It did so despite having on hand an independent study by a reputable British air traffic consultant, LeighFisher, that our airport’s charges were far lower than worldwide counterparts, the 54th lowest of 55 international airports covered.

You wonder how it happens. It’s our airport. We paid for it. But the people we hire to run it do so not in our interests but in the interests of corporations that have not put a cent into it. Why?

I imagine their excuse is that the airport is already profitable enough, with earnings for the last financial year of HK$6.45 billion representing a 15.1 per cent return on equity.

It’s notable, however, that this included income of HK$7.5 billion from shop rentals and other commercial revenue. The airport operations themselves ran at a loss or pretty close to it.

Oh, but you have to put the two together, say the airlines.

Nonsense. Shall shops in Causeway Bay be made to subsidise the Mass Transit Railway for bringing in their customers? Actually, I like that idea. We shall see if the airlines will join me in proposing it. They argue it for the airport. Why not for Causeway Bay?

The fact is, we spoiled them rotten and now they think it’s their right.

What’s the point of yet another report on biodiesel?

Tuesday, 22 July, 2014


Howard Winn

Interesting to see that the Hong Kong government is to commission a study into the costs and benefits of using biodiesel fuel with a view to blending it with fossil diesel.

Why the government is embarking on this study is not wholly clear since the Environmental Protection Department commissioned the University of Hong Kong to carry out a feasibility study for using biodiesel in vehicles in 2003.

Then ultra-low-sulphur diesel was sold at petrol stations in Hong Kong. The sulphur content of the fuel was lowered from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 350 ppm on January 1, 2001. The report found a blend of 20 per cent biodiesel fuel caused a slight decrease (less than 1 per cent) in engine power, a 16 per cent reduction in smoke opacity and 14 per cent reduction in hydrocarbon emissions.

However, as the EPD’s website reports, on December 1, 2007, the government introduced Euro V diesel, which has a sulphur content of 0.001 per cent. Since then, all filling stations in Hong Kong are exclusively offering this fuel. The EPD’s website also points out that fuelling existing diesel vehicles with Euro V diesel can reduce their sulphur dioxide and particulates emissions by 80 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

In other words Euro V is a vastly superior product to ultra-low-sulphur diesel. Adding biodiesel to Euro V diesel will have a negligible effect on emissions. There is plenty of information on this available so we are curious as to why there needs to be another report.

Hopefully this is not going to end up as a sop to the biodiesel industry which would be keen on having its products used in this way. Maybe it’s a way of fending it off. Either way, we suppose that it shows the EPD is doing something.

The university report also noted concerns that biodiesel could damage the fuel lines of vehicles older than 10 years, and void the vehicle warranty and insurance. We look forward to seeing what new information the government will come up with.

Airport Authority expert’s ‘fairy-tale’ predictions about marine park questioned

Government advisers on Monday were highly sceptical of the Airport Authority’s assessment of the environmental impact of the proposed third runway at the airport, with one expert consultant’s predictions about a new marine park questioned.

But the authority said they were “confident” the environmental advisers would eventually give a green light to the project.

The remarks came on the first of three days of meetings being held by the Advisory Council on the Environment, which will offer its view to the government on whether measures outlined by the Airport Authority for offsetting the environmental impact of a third runway are sufficient.

The authority has proposed designating a nearby site as a marine park in 2023 after the runway is built. It’s consultant, marine biologist Dr Thomas Jefferson, said numbers of Chinese white dolphins living in the north Lantau area would drop during construction but rebound later when the marine park is designated.

“Dolphins are very complex animals … they have the ability to move around,” Jefferson had said in June.

Council member Dr Hung Wing-tat said the authority needed to present data showing how many Chinese white dolphins would return to the area once the proposed 2,400 hectare marine park – connecting the existing Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park with a planned Brothers Islands marine park – is designated.

Watch: SCMP took a look at Hong Kong’s pink dolphin habitat

“You speak of creating a fairy tale … a paradise … How can you make sure that in seven years time [in 2023] there will be peace in that area for the dolphins? How can you ensure that there won’t be any other disturbing activities?” he asked.

“This will set a very bad a priori case for any [future] project… Others may have the same theory [that the dolphins will come back] too.”

Jefferson had based his prediction in part on the experience of dolphins returning to the area after the initial construction of the airport at Chek Lap Kok.

This was dismissed by council member Dr Gary Ades as “comparing a grape with an apple”.

But Peter Lee, the authority’s general manager for environmental projects, said he was confident the council would eventually give them the green light.

“We are confident that our mitigation measures … are sufficient and appropriate for mitigating the impacts from our projects.”

The authority on Monday revealed four additional measures to mitigate the impacts of the project on the dolphins, including a cap on the number of high-speed ferries from the SkyPier at its current level of 99 per day and conducting night studies on dolphin activity.

A coalition of green groups including the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, Greenpeace, WWF-Hong Kong and Friends of the Earth protested next to the venue of the meeting.

They urged the council not to rubber stamp the authority’s mitigation proposals and to reject them.

WWF-HK assistant conservation manager Samantha Lee Klaus said the authority was adopting a “destroy first, conserve later” approach.

Monday, 11 August, 2014

Incinerator figures don’t add up

Elvis Au (“Incinerator will adopt proven, cost-effective technology on island [1]”, August 5) continues to weave his tangled web of half-truths.

He revealed that of the HK$18.2 billion requested for the project, HK$12.7 billion is to build the incinerator and HK$5.5 billion (30 per cent of the total cost) to build infrastructure on Shek Kwu Chau.

So we will pay an extra HK$5.5 billion because vested interests do not want the incinerator built near the Tuen Mun landfill, which is the logical site.

The “balanced distribution of waste facilities” Au cites as the reason for selecting Shek Kwu Chau was never raised by the Environmental Protection Department from 2004 to 2010.

It surfaced only in 2011 after Lau Wong-fat, chairman of Tuen Mun District Council, objected to putting the incinerator in Tuen Mun.

The department then created the “balanced distribution” criterion to justify Shek Kwu Chau.

Getting approval for another site takes no more time than obtaining it for Shek Kwu Chau, that is, one year from April 2011 to April 2012.

On the capital cost, Au provides selective data.

A survey of all incinerators constructed shows that economies of scale lead to lower per-tonne capital cost the larger the capacity. Au chose Denmark’s lower-capacity 1,100 tonnes per day incinerator costing HK$4.27 million per tonne to compare to his proposed high-capacity 3,000 tonnes per day incinerator costing HK$4.25 million per tonne.

This is like comparing the per passenger cost of a bus to a Rolls Royce.

An honest comparison is with the per-tonne cost of high-capacity incinerators.

These include – the 2,300 tonnes per day facility in Runcorn, Cheshire, UK, at HK$2 million per tonne; the Afval Energie Bedrijf Waste Fired Power Plant in Holland with 3,800 tonnes per day capacity at HK$1.1 million per tonne; the 3,000 tonnes per day facility in Beijing at HK$1 million per tonne; the 1,600 tonnes per day facility in Riverside, Kent, UK, at HK$2.6 million per tonne.

Nor did Au mention the 1,000 tonnes per day incinerators in Finland, China, England, South Korea and Azerbaijan costing less than HK$3 million per tonne.

The 1,000 tonnes per day plasma gasification plant in Teesside, England, cost HK$3.1 million per tonne, paid by the operator.

If approved by the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee in October, Au’s Rolls Royce incinerator will cost between 100 per cent and 300 per cent more than similar capacity incinerators in the world.

Dr Tom Yam, Lantau

dynamco Aug 16th 2014

If Tom Yam is quoting $ numbers then at least he should get them right, upfront.
The Govt and AU especially well know what they asked for:

CB(1)1369/11-12(01) 1.1.b) sets out the Administration’s request @money-of-the-day prices in March 2012
5177DR: IWMF Phase 1 14.96bn – MOD – now 17bn
5163DR: NENT landfill ext 6.632bn MOD -now 8bn
5164DR: SENT landfill ext 1.76bn MOD -now over 2bn
5165DR: WENT landfill ext 33.4mn – now 36mn
The ‘package’ is at least 27bn!
The building of an incinerator is dependent on the capacity of the landfills being increased to handle the 30% by weight ash produced, so they are a ‘package’
Then need to ADD a Pulau Semakau island as the new ash lagoons (10 bn?)
So even at today’s money of day prices Shek Kwu Chau package is $9m per tonne
but by the time it would be finished (like the fast rail to nowhere) it will be far higher
Then, we have all the peer reviewed evidence showing increase in deaths, cancers, birth defects, orofacial clefts in spatial proximity to incinerators
Only with a Rubber Stamp person I/C EIA approvals could this be allowed to happen & she wears two hats & has never knocked back a Govt EIA to date!

The correct numbers sought in Legco by ENB included ALL the infrastructure as shown here:


IWMF PHASE 1 FUNDING REQUEST 14.96 BN INCLUDES THE ISLAND COST AND MUCH MORE AS SHOWN BELOW Scope of work A plan showing the location of the IWMF Phase 1 at the SKC site is at Annex B1. The IWMF will be built on an artificial island

formed by reclamation to the south-western coast of SKC. The reclaimed island will measure about 11.8 ha including a berth area and storage area

for waste containers. Due to occasionally rough sea condition in the vicinity, the project will include constructing a breakwater of about 4.1 ha

to ensure that loading/ unloading activities can be safely carried out in the berth, and that the safety of facilities can be guaranteed. The scope of 5177DR comprises

(a) design and construction of reclamation to form an artificial island near SKC;

(b) design and construction of an MSW incineration plant of a design capacity of 3 000 tpd employing advanced moving grate waste-to-energy technologies. The incineration plant will comprise the following main components –

(i) waste reception, storage and feeding system;

(ii) moving grate incinerators;

(iii) waste heat recovery, turbine generator and cooling

(iv) boiler feedwater treatment system;

(v) flue gas treatment and discharge system;

(vi) fly ash, bottom ash and residues storage, treatment and handling system;

(vii) bulky waste storage and handling system, reagent

reception and storage system; and

(viii) process control and monitoring system;

(c) design and construction of a mechanical sorting and recycling plant of a design capacity of 200 tpd. The mechanical treatment plant will comprise the installation of the following main components –

(i) waste reception system;

(ii) mechanical sorting and shredding system; and;

(iii) process control and monitoring system;

(d) provision of ancillary and supporting facilities including submarine power cables and electrical system connecting the artificial land to Cheung Sha of Lantau Island, a desalination plant providing water supply to the facility, a wastewater treatment plant, an environmental education centre, community facilities1 and minor supporting facilities for a marine park2; and

(e) environmental monitoring and auditing during the

construction stage.

A layout plan showing the proposed works is at Annex B2. Subject to funding approval of the FC, we plan to commence the design and

construction works in September 2013 and commission the IWMF in 2018/19.

The Govt and AU especially well know what they asked for:

CB(1)1369/11-12(01) 1.1.b) sets out the Administration’s request @money-of-the-day prices in March 2012
5177DR: IWMF Phase 1 14.96bn – MOD – now 17bn
5163DR: NENT landfill ext 6.632bn MOD -now 8bn
5164DR: SENT landfill ext 1.76bn MOD -now over 2bn
5165DR: WENT landfill ext 33.4mn – now 36mn
The ‘package’ is at least 27bn!