Contractors can look forward to more near-shore reclamation work, equivalent to the area of about two West Kowloon Reclamations, if sites proposed by the government get the nod from the public.
The government launched Stage 2 of its public engagement, lasting three months, on Enhancing Land Supply Strategy on Thursday to gather views from the public on five potential near-shore reclamation sites as well as building artificial islands and three schemes for rock cavern development.
The various sites and proposals were based on the feedback gathered from more than 40,000 submissions during Stage 1 public engagement carried out from November 2011 to March 2012 by the Development Bureau, the Civil Engineering and Development Department and Planning Department.
Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po said based on the feedback, site selection criteria were established and the government selected sites that met those criteria.
The five near-shore potential reclamation sites are: Lung Kwu Tan in Tuen Mun, Siu Ho Wan and Sunny Bay on the northern shore of Lantau Island, Ma Liu Shui in Sha Tin, and southwest Tsing Yi.
“We will press ahead with reclamation outside Victoria Harbour to build up the land reserve while endeavouring to keep the impact on the environment and marine ecology to a minimum,” Chan said.
The Stage 2 digest document issued for public comment gave the total reclamation area of these five sites as 470 to 730 hectares.
By way of comparison, the West Kowloon Reclamation, which was mostly completed by 1997 although the last parts were not reclaimed until 2003, has an area of about 340 hectares.
According to the CEDD website, the total cost of the West Kowloon Reclamation including all the infrastructure work, landscaping and reprovisioning of existing waterfront facilities totalled HK$12 billion.
For the sites at Lung Kwu Tan, Siu Ho Wan and Sunny Bay, the government said it would carry out strategic environmental assessment to assess the cumulative impact in areas inhabited by the Chinese white dolphin.
This was to gather data to fine-tune the reclamation limits and reduce the impact on the environment and marine life.
“The thing to do is to explore and find out more about the Chinese white dolphin activities in the shallow water regions together with experts and the green groups,” Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) Wai Chi-sing said.
The government will also conduct further studies on the feasibility of artificial islands in the waters between Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island.
Together to the five reclamation sites, the total potential area for reclaimed land is about 2,000 to 3,000 hectares.
Rock cavern development will get a further push with the public being asked for its views on relocating Diamond Hill Fresh Water and Salt Water Service Reservoirs, Sai Kung Sewage Treatment Works, and Sham Tseng Sewage Treatment Works into caverns.
A total of six hectares of urban land will be released if the proposals get the go ahead.