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August 21st, 2014:

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!

NY Food-Waste-to-Energy Pilot Expands

New York City will expand a pilot food-waste-to-energy program this fall.

The program, which launched last summer, diverts food from the waste stream and converts it into natural gas, Capital New York reports. The city expects the program to avoid about 90,000 metric tons of CO2.

Waste Management separates the uneaten food from the rest of the trash it collects.

During the pilot program, the city has processed between 1.5 tons and 2 tons of food waste daily. This will increase to 50 tons a day under the expanded program. The city hopes to eventually process 250 tons daily.

The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenpoint, which processes the waste, could process up to 500 tons or 15 percent of the city’s residential organic waste, the newspaper reports.

In New York City’s other food-waste reduction efforts, its restaurants diverted more than 2,500 tons of food waste from landfills between May 2013 and November 2013. The food from 100 restaurants participating in the city’s voluntary Food Waste Challenge was used as compost or donated to food banks.

August 15, 2014