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May 13th, 2015:

$550m e-waste recycling facility set for Hong Kong EcoPark

Following a Bill being reviewed in Hong Kong to help recover electrical goods, the government has awarded a DBO contract for a e-waste recycling plant in the Tuen Mun EcoPark…

The Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has awarded a design, build and operate (DBO) contract for a 30,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) treatment and recycling facility.

To be built at the EcoPark in Tuen Mun, the contract was awarded to ALBA Integrated Waste Solutions Hong Kong Limited (ALBA-IWS) following an open tender.

The Government has earmarked HKD$550 million (US$71m) for the building of the project and its operating cost.

ALBA-IWS is a joint venture comprising ALBA Asia, German recycling technology firm Erdwich Vertriebs GmbH and a local collection firm, IWS Environmental Technologies.

An EPD spokesperson said that commissioning could start by 2017.

In March, a new bill was introduced to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to encourage WEEE recycling.

Called the Promotion of Recycling and Proper Disposal (Electrical Equipment and Electronic Equipment) (Amendment) Bill 2015, it includes refrigerators, washing machines, TVs, among others.

Manufacturers and importers of regulated electrical equipment will be required to register as registered suppliers and pay a recycling fee for regulated electrical equipment that is distributed in Hong Kong.

Cost of work on Terminal 2 for third runway at Hong Kong airport ‘may rise 47 per cent’

Airport work will face rising construction costs and legal issues over airspace, opponents warn

The cost of expanding Terminal 2 at Chek Lap Kok airport to support the proposed third runway could soar to HK$14 billion by the time work begins in 2019 – 47 per cent up on the original prediction, a veteran engineer says.

The Airport Authority plans to shut down the terminal, which opened in 2007, for construction work to improve arrival and transit facilities. The building currently houses 56 passenger check-in counters, restaurants and shops, but no arrival hall.

Greg Wong Chak-yan, a former president of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, said his estimation was based on construction costs rising 5 to 6 per cent per year until 2019. The original prediction by the authority was HK$9.5 billion in 2010 prices.

The expansion work will involve extensive excavation and will see the terminal out of service until 2023.

Wong’s estimate came as opponents of a third runway warned yesterday the runway project could run into the same troubles as the new high-speed rail link to Guangzhou, which has been dogged by legal and constitutional issues involved in arranging immigration checks.

Opponents say the capacity of a third runway would be affected significantly by the ability of local authorities to coordinate airspace with mainland authorities.

“The problems will be similar to those seen with the planned joint immigration checkpoint at West Kowloon for the high-speed rail terminus,” said Roy Tam Hoi-pong, from Green Sense, and environmental group. “We don’t want to see Beijing interpreting the Basic Law to decide who should control the airspace.”

Hong Kong is responsible for providing air traffic services within its flight information region, according to Article 130 of the Basic Law.

Engineer Albert Lai Kwong-tak, from think tank Professional Commons, said if the third runway project ran into trouble, the problems would be even worse than those of the over-budget and delayed rail link.

He said construction projects across the Pearl River Delta requiring reclamation could jack up sand prices significantly, adding further uncertainty to the cost of land formation for the airport.

Wong believed the layout of the terminal building would be completely changed and that “only steel beams would be left” after the installation of additional facilities.

However, a spokesman for the authority would not say how far the basic structure of the building would be altered.

“The [authority] has analysed the structural limits and potential impact on the existing building, including the related modifications and addition works,” he said.

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