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Mud Power

Wong Kam Sing
“T” stands for transformation, says Hong Kong Secretary for Environment Wong Kam-sing, who helped kick off the launch of T ▪ PARK

T ▪ PARK represents a new step towards a greener Hong Kong. Opening to the public in June, the HK$5 billion project was designed and built by VW-VES (HK) Ltd, a subsidiary of French conglomerate Veolia, which also operates the facility.

Veolia Chairman and CEO Antoine Frérot said the project can serve as a reference for the water industry. “It shows what the water treatment plants of the future will be. The result of fruitful cooperation between company entities and several partners, not least the Hong Kong Government, this plant is a prime example of the revolution underway in the environmental industries, one in which Veolia plays a pioneering role.”

Noting that the “T” in T ▪ PARK stands for transformation, Hong Kong Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said at the facility’s May opening ceremony, that it signified Hong Kong’s commitment to transforming waste into energy.

Surplus Power

Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung (right) attends the opening ceremony of T ▪ PARK

Located in Tuen Mun in the New Territories, the plant, which started operations in April 2015, uses an advanced incineration system that can reduce the volume of sludge by 90 per cent. The heat energy generated from the incineration process is recovered and converted into electricity to power the entire facility. Surplus electricity generated from the process and exported to the public power grid can meet the needs of up to 4,000 households at maximum.

The treatment process considerably reduces the volume of waste to be disposed of in the landfills by up to 90 per cent, and cuts down on emissions of greenhouse gases. The plant achieves zero wastewater discharge through the use of a compact treatment system that enables wastewater to be collected, treated and reused on-site for irrigation, flushing and cleansing purposes.

Hong Kong will eliminate 260,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year with the new T ▪ PARK Sludge Incineration Facility

"We want to use this as an example to call on the public to deepen their efforts in energy-saving and waste reduction," said Cary Wan, Environmental Protection Department Environmental Protection Officer.

To date, the facility each day receives about 1,200 tonnes of sludge, which is the semi-solid by-product collected during sewage treatment. The plant can treat up to 2,000 tonnes daily, and can generate two megawatts of surplus electricity if operating at full capacity, which it's expected to achieve by 2030.

Green Retreat

Apart from its sewage treatment facility, the plant also has an educational and a recreational component. An exhibition hall explains the waste-to-energy, sludge incineration, sewage treatment and power-generation processes. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of the facility is covered by green features, including a 9,800 square-metre landscaped garden, a roof garden and a wetland habitat. Three spa pools of varying temperatures heated from energy produced at the facility are an added attraction.

Project Kudos

One of three spa pools at T ▪ PARK heated from energy recovered from the sludge incineration process

The sludge incineration facility won the distinction award in the category of Wastewater Project of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2016. The design of T ▪ PARK has also been recognised by the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers with the Grand Award in the 2016 Structural Excellence Awards.

T ▪ PARK is the latest environmental infrastructure initiative in Hong Kong, which is developing its credentials as a model city in Asia for the application of green technology. The Harbour Area Treatment Scheme by the Hong Kong Drainage Services Department is working to improve water quality in Victoria Harbour by decontaminating sewage and preventing it from flowing into the harbour.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has attracted overseas green tech and green-solution companies, such as German e-Waste specialist ALBA, which has set up a facility for recycling computers and other electronic devices in a responsible and eco-friendly manner. Another Hong Kong company, ASB Biodiesel, which is supported by Middle Eastern banking firms, turns used cooking oil into sustainable fuel. ASB Biodiesel operates a biodiesel plant in Tseung Kwan O, with the capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes of transport fuel annually.

In addition, Hong Kong has several environmental programmes that have carved out designated zones for marine life conservation, such as Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park in Sai Kung and the Wetland Park near the border with Shenzhen, both in the New Territories. Often referred to as the Mai Po Marshes, the park provides a sanctuary to some 90,000 birds. The strong financial core and rule of law makes Hong Kong an outstanding hub for environmentally focused businesses and international groups in Asia.

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