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Contract for sludge treatment facility in Tuen Mun signed (with photos)

     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD), after going through an open tender procedure, has awarded a contract to design, build and operate a sludge treatment facility at Tsang Tsui, Tuen Mun, to VW-VES (HK) Limited, a subsidiary of Veolia Environnement.  Representatives of the two sides signed the contract today (October 27).

     In addition to being a major treatment facility applying advanced technology, the plant will have leisure, educational and landscaped facilities for the public.

     The sludge treatment facility will be equipped to treat 2,000 tonnes of sludge a day at maximum capacity. When it comes on-stream in 2013, it will be able to reduce the volume of sludge by up to 90%.

     One of its features is the incorporation of architectural and landscape elements. The wave-form and streamlined design of the main building, which has incorporated the Tuen Mun District Council's (TMDC) views, will reflect and integrate the seaview in front and ridge lines at the back so that the plant will blend well with the surrounding scenery. Upon completion, it will become a unique landmark in the district.

     The plant's outdoor landscaped and ecological gardens will provide visitors with a green open space and a natural environment, as well as providing a habitat for water birds.

     The building will also house an Environmental Education Centre (EEC) with an exhibition room, an Internet/interactive area, a lecture theatre and a conference room. Visitors will be able to view the operation of the plant through a dedicated visitors' gallery with information on sustainable waste management at the EEC.

     The contract for the sludge treatment facility was signed by representatives of the EPD and VW-VES (HK) Limited today in the presence of the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau.

     "By adopting a brand-new design concept, this sludge treatment will combine advanced technology and world-class management in treating sludge in a manner compatible with sustainable waste management. We will ensure that the facility will be run with world-class management upon its completion. We will also strengthen links with the community and play our role in environmental education," an EPD spokesman said.

     This green facility will adopt state-of-the-art thermal incineration technology to ensure that the sludge treatment meets the highest environmental protection requirements and the strictest emission standards. Thermal energy generated from incineration will be turned into electricity to fully meet the energy needs of the facility, including the operation of the EEC, a seawater desalination plant that will produce potable water, and indoor heated pools. Surplus electricity will be exported to the power grid.

     Design and construction of the plant has commenced. It is expected that about 600 jobs will be created during the construction period and 60 staff will be required when it comes into operation. Priority for employment will be given to Tuen Mun residents.

     In response to the TMDC's request, the EPD will set up an air quality monitoring station in Tuen Mun town centre to provide objective data on the local air quality so as to ensure that the operation of the facility will not affect the surrounding environment.  Addressing the TMDC's concerns, the EPD will also report to the council regularly on progress on the facility's construction and its operational plan.
     When completed, the facility will process sludge generated from the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme and 10 other regional sewage treatment works, reducing the load on landfills. It is estimated that the emission of greenhouse gas can be reduced by up to 260,000 tonnes per year.  

     Upon completion of the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2A and the extension and upgrading of some existing sewage treatment works, the total amount of sludge generated in Hong Kong will substantially increase from the current 800 tonnes per day to about 1,500 tonnes per day in 2014.

Ends/Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Issued at HKT 12:49


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