Government continues splashing out on projects
Government spending on public works is continuing unabated with over HK$16 billion worth of projects awarded in the two months to April this year.
According to a recent government gazette notice and details provided by government related organisations, in March 2014, the government awarded HK$6.08 billion worth of work while for April, that figure was HK$10.5 billion.
However much of the new projects is building related with little, if any, for civil engineering work.
The Architectural Services Department was the biggest spender in March, splashing out HK$4.95 billion for 12 renovation and maintenance projects and one new build project.
Most of this sum will go towards maintaining properties for which the Property Services Branch of the department is responsible.
Railway operator MTR Corporation (0066), which is 77 percent owned by the government, awarded four contracts worth a total of HK$611 million.
Two of the contracts, with a combined value of HK$455.3 million, are for building services for the troubled Shatin- Central Link, which is facing delays due to public concern over the discovery on site at the Kai Tak Development of archaeological relics dating back to the Song dynasty.
These two contracts were awarded to Gammon E&M and Leighton M&E.
For April, one contract accounted for most of the value of the projects awarded.
That was the HK$8.4 billion contract for the Passenger Clearance Building at the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
The Leighton-Chun Wo Joint Venture was the lucky contractor to bag the project.
The bridge project itself has been unable to escape public controversy after the media and legislators raised up a fuss over delays in other key infrastructure projects such as the Express Rail Link and phase three of the West Kowloon Cultural District.
On Wednesday, legislators took the government to task over forecasts for the traffic that would be generated by the new bridge, scheduled to open in 2016.
There are also misgivings over government proposals to include commercial development on the Boundary Crossing Facilities man-made island.
Most of the balance of value of new work in April was for the Housing Authority, at HK$1.07 billion, and for the MTRC, at HK$578 million.
One of the HA projects is the conversion of the last remaining “H” type factory building, situated in Chai Wan, into public rental housing to meet urgent demand for housing.
The Town Planning Board gave the green light for the conversion of use in August last year (see here).
Mid-sized contractor Yau Lee Construction will be doing the work for HK$351.6 million.
Contractors will no doubt be eager to some progress for the proposed Tseung Kwan O-Lam Tin Tunnel although actual start of work on site may take a few more years.
In April, the Civil Engineering and Development Department awarded a contract worth HK$71.9 million for site investigation for the project to Intrafor Hong Kong.