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New milestone for Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (with photos)

     The breakthrough of the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS) Stage 2A sewage tunnel (North Point - Wan Chai section) has marked a new milestone for the project and further improvement of the water quality of Victoria Harbour. The tunnel is the deepest one in Hong Kong.
     Officiating at the breakthrough ceremony today (November 8), the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said HATS commenced in 1994 with an aim of improving the water quality of Victoria Harbour by collecting and treating sewage generated from both sides of the Harbour. At a total cost over $20 billion, HATS is the largest sewerage infrastructure project in Hong Kong, demonstrating the Government's commitment to upgrading the water quality of Victoria Harbour.

     Since their opening in late 2001, the facilities under HATS Stage 1 have provided daily treatment for about 75 per cent of the sewage generated from both sides of Victoria Harbour, significantly improving the water quality in the eastern and central parts of the Harbour. Stage 2A will mainly collect sewage from the northern and southwestern parts of Hong Kong Island and convey it to the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works (SCISTW).

     The works under Stage 2A have commenced progressively since July 2009. They comprise construction of a 21-kilometre sewage tunnel with sections with depths varying from about 70 metres to 160m below sea level. A drill-and-blast method has been adopted for dropshaft excavation works and deep tunnel construction. The section between North Point and Wan Chai is about 3.2km long, with the lowest point being about 160m below sea level, making the tunnel the deepest one in Hong Kong. The 160m vertical distance is equivalent to the height of a 50-odd storey commercial building. The first blast for the North Point - Wan Chai section was carried out in July 2011 and the breakthrough was completed on October 26.

     Also officiating at the ceremony, the Director of Drainage Services, Mr Chan Chi-chiu, said over 5 600 blasts had been conducted under Stage 2A, which is probably the highest number of blasts for one single project in Hong Kong ever. Under this project, the department has trained up 13 blasting supervisors and 87 competent persons for supervising delivery of explosives, bringing in more construction professionals for the industry.

     At present, the project team is striving to complete the remaining works including the expansion and upgrading of the SCISTW and eight preliminary treatment works on Hong Kong Island. The major engineering works of Stage 2A are scheduled for completion in late 2014.

     Other officiating guests at today's ceremony included the Permanent Secretary for the Environment/Director of Environmental Protection, Ms Anissa Wong; the Deputy Director of Drainage Services, Mr Tsui Wai; the Chairman of the Eastern District Council, Mr Wong Kin-pan; the Chairman of the Wan Chai District Council, Mr Suen Kai-cheong; and the District Officer (Wan Chai), Ms Angela Luk.

Ends/Friday, November 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:24


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