Speech by CS at 40th anniversary dinner of ATAL Engineering Group (English only)
Otto (Chairman of ATAL Engineering Group, Dr Otto Poon), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Kung Hei Fat Choy! It is my great pleasure to join you all at the beginning of the Year of the Rooster to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ATAL Engineering Group. Let me first take this auspicious opportunity to wish you all a prosperous year ahead!
Since the year 1977 when ATAL Engineering Group was founded, Hong Kong, then one of the Four Asian Tigers, has evolved from a low-cost manufacturing base into one of the world’s leading and vibrant financial, trade and business service centres. Today we are Asia’s World City, which also boasts world-class construction and engineering talent, techniques and experience. We would never have made it this far within just a few decades without the contribution from industry and community leaders like Otto, who epitomises ATAL’s achievements. Beyond ATAL, Otto actively participates in public service and sits on various government advisory bodies. He contributes his professional knowledge and valuable experience to support our policy work in promoting energy, environment and safety awareness in Hong Kong.
Under Otto’s leadership, ATAL has established itself as a leading electrical, mechanical, environmental and information technology (IT) engineering group, employing around 2 500 staff. It has also positioned itself to help improve the environment and livelihood of Hong Kong people with its expertise. Notably, ATAL participated in our Harbour Area Treatment Scheme to take charge of the design and installation of fibreglass reinforced plastic covers and deodorisation system at the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works. ATAL also provided comprehensive system design and plant equipment for the Ngau Tam Mei Water Treatment Works, which was the first plant in the world using the new technology of Granular Activated Carbon to nurture bacteria for removal of ammonia from water. Thanks to ATAL’s pioneering spirit in innovation and technology application, the plant was renowned as one of the most advanced of its kind at the time. There are, of course, many more signature projects that ATAL should rightly be proud of. Latest additions include the Flue Gas Treatment System in T·PARK, which is a state-of-the-art sludge facility in Tuen Mun. ATAL has also extended its services outside Hong Kong. The Bailonggang Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion in Shanghai and various hotel developments in Macau are some of the shining examples that have won ATAL accolades from across the borders.
Looking ahead, we will count on your continuous support to fulfil our common vision of improving the quality of our living environment. Borrowing the wisdom of your new company slogan, “Engineering with Passion”, I would like to share with you our vision for the construction and engineering industry, which is built on four Passions.
Passion for Progress
First is passion for progress. We must encompass passion in moving the industry and our city forward. We will continue to engage in major infrastructure projects and carry on with the multi-pronged approach to increase land supply. To meet the needs of our growing and ageing population, we task ourselves to supply 460 000 housing units in 10 years and implement the 10-Year Hospital Development Plan. These initiatives will bring the Government’s estimated capital works expenditure to nearly $80 billion per annum in the next few years and provide new impetus to the industry. Of course, we will need the approval of the Legislative Council for the projects to be pursued as planned. We understand the concern of the industry about the project delays owing to hiccups in the approval process. The Government is working closely with the Legislative Council to resolve the problem and expedite the process.
Passion for Innovation
Second is passion for innovation. We should maintain our passion for innovation for it forms the basis of sustainable growth of the industry and our community. We encourage our professionals to keep abreast of innovative developments in the industry and apply new technologies on our worksites. ATAL has been a good role model as demonstrated by its projects. The Government is also taking the lead in this regard. As mentioned in this year’s Policy Address, we will actively seek to require government consultants and contractors to use Building Information Modelling technology in major capital works projects from next year onwards.
We are also pleased to note that the industry has begun to use robotic technology to aid construction workers. We appreciate the Construction Industry Council’s effort to establish the Construction Innovation and Technology Application Centre to provide information on the latest construction technologies. I do hope that industry practitioners could make the best use of the resources to enhance their productivity and safety performance.
Passion for Safety
Third is passion for safety. While pushing for progress and innovation, we must maintain our commitment to work safety. Since my time as the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, enhancing safety at work at all levels of the construction sector has been close to my heart and one of my key concerns. ATAL’s reputation for work safety has won multiple awards under the Construction Safety Promotional Campaign. I know that I can count on ATAL to uphold the highest safety standards.
Passion for the Environment
Last but not least comes passion for the environment. With climate change as a major threat, we must bear in mind passion for our environment in planning developments. As the historic Paris Agreement came into effect last November, the Government has set up the high-level Steering Committee on Climate Change chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration to co-ordinate efforts in combating climate change and achieving carbon reduction targets. After months of hard work, we have recently announced Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+. Our target is to reduce Hong Kong’s carbon intensity by 65 per cent to 70 per cent by 2030 compared with the 2005 level. In our strategic territorial plan “Hong Kong 2030+”, we have proposed a smart, green and resilient city strategy permeating all aspects of the built environment.
To enhance international efforts and co-ordination in promoting green building practices, Hong Kong will host the World Sustainable Built Environment Conference in June. I look forward to seeing more of your excellent green building solutions in this major event.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are here to celebrate the four decades of success of ATAL. I am sure that ATAL will build on its strengths and craft an even better future. Echoing ATAL’s slogan, we will continue to engineer breakthroughs with passion for progress, innovation, safety and our environment. With your support, we will strive towards the common vision of building Hong Kong into a liveable, competitive and sustainable Asia’s World City.
Thank you, and have an enjoyable evening!
Ends/Thursday, February 9, 2017
Issued at HKT 20:10
Issued at HKT 20:10