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SCMP letters

Clear the Air says: we do not want any form of mass-burn  incinerator – period !

Hong Kong MSW is typically wet and full of waste food

It is a known fact that with wet MSW the mass-burn temperature has to increase or dioxins/furans will issue.

In addition bag houses etc are poor technology and the highly  toxic fly ash pollutants will become part of the clinker and subsequent cement product.

Compared to plasma gasification’s next to zero emissions, the emissions of MSW derived fuels in cement kilns and resultant products are something Hong Kong cannot handle.

‘In modern conventional MSW incinerators a temperature of 850 °C can be sustained from moderately dry MSW alone; if the combustion exit temperature falls below 850 °C then

supplementary fuel must be used. To elevate the combustor temperature above 850 °C will always require supplementary fuel, and this makes stand-alone incineration of MSW above

850 °C uneconomical.’and this report was funded by Green Island ……………………………..

SCMP Comment› Letters

Firm has cheaper waste option

Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 12:00am

Green Island Cement site in Tap Shek Kok. Photo: David Wong  I refer to Jake van der Kamp’s column (“Time to put an end to the squandering”, February 5) where he talks about government bureaucrats spending our budget surpluses on big infrastructure projects that are not worthwhile. I could not agree more.

I would add to the list of overpriced infrastructure projects the Shek Kwu Chau super-incinerator that the last government tried to push through, despite the public’s objections to the location and the technology it was to use. According to the media, at an estimated cost of HK$15 billion, it would have been one of the world’s most expensive incinerators.

Green Island Cement has over the last decade repeatedly proposed to the government its Eco-Co-Combustion System, a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly waste management solution for treating municipal solid waste. The waste would be used as a refuse-derived fuel at our existing cement plant. Because of the synergies, the Eco-Co-Combustion System boasts a number of benefits. More waste can be processed than the government’s incinerator, as it could treat around 4,800 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day, that is, about 50 per cent of Hong Kong’s municipal solid waste per day, as opposed to the government’s proposal of around 3,000 tonnes per day. It will create minimal disturbance to the community and the environment, as the system will be constructed at our existing site at Tap Shek Kok and no additional land has to be reclaimed nor set aside for a waste-treatment facility.

Net emission will also be negligible as, according to our pilot plant study, there is no discernible impact on the nearest residences. Furthermore, there will be no residue ash (requiring land filling) as it will be used as clinker in cement manufacturing. Most importantly, the system presents a significant upfront cost saving of more than HK$9 billion compared to the conventional incinerator proposed by the government. The Eco-Co-Combustion System represents a good example of how the private sector can participate in Hong Kong’s environmental development. Instead, notwithstanding the significant economic and environmental benefits of our proposal, the government has yet to grant us an opportunity to be part of its plans for a waste-management solution. We hope the administration will consider a public-private partnership model to solve Hong Kong’s waste problem, and not just strictly adhere to the conventional government-owned, government-funded, design-build-operate model.

Don Johnston, executive director, Green Island Cement (Holdings) Limited

SCMP Laisee 14 Feb 2013

Greens burn up over ‘dinosaur technology’

Howard Winn

The environmental group Clear The Air is maintaining the pressure on the government to abandon plans to build an incinerator on Shek Kwu Chau. The group’s chairman, James Middleton, has sent a letter to the Legislative Council’s environmental affairs panel urging it not to approve funding for what he terms “outdated dinosaur technology”.

Plans for a traditional mass-burn incinerator were shelved last year to allow the new administration to rethink its strategy for waste management.

Clear The Air’s letter makes the case for plasma gasification technology, which converts waste to syngas that can be used to generate electricity or converted into other fuels such as jet fuel. British Airways’ Green Skies Project is one of 10 such projects being commissioned to convert municipal solid waste into jet fuel.

“It is time for the Hong Kong government to realise that technology has advanced since the decision to use MBT [mass-burn technology] was taken in the absence of legislating mandatory recycling measures, bite the bullet handed to them by the previous non-performing Tsang administration and ENB minister and move on with the gasification technology; this will also make redundant the current medical waste/carcass incinerator at Stonecutters for alternative development as an additional benefit.”

The letter also highlights the dangers associated with incineration that have been noted in other countries.

“There is already enough clinical evidence of deaths and cancers caused to populations downwind of incinerators with more reports in the pipeline,” the letter says. The government has said privately that it will look at the various technologies available for disposing of Hong Kong’s waste.

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