• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 8:01am
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 January, 2014, 1:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 January, 2014, 1:30am

Charles Li makes a big call on one country, one system


Howard Winn has been with the South China Morning Post for two and half years after previous stints as business editor and deputy editor of The Standard, and business editor of Asia Times. His writing has also been published in the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He writes the Lai See column which focuses on the lighter side of business.

The Asian Financial Forum was enlivened, albeit briefly, by remarks by the stock exchange chief executive Charles Li Xiaojia. Speaking from the stage during a panel discussion he observed that he didn't think Hong Kong was sufficiently prepared for the mainland's looming great leap forward in terms of the liberalisation of the economy, the currency and interest rates. "Economically, mainland China and Hong Kong will be one country one system by 2020," he pronounced. Whoa - that's a very big call. What have you been smoking Charles? This is another variant of the death of Hong Kong story. Yes we all know the mainland is a big economy and is developing rapidly, but that's not to say it's going to eat Hong Kong's lunch in six years. By the time journalists caught up with him after he left the stage, he was already backpedalling saying we shouldn't make too much of his comments. Next he'll be saying his remarks have been taken out of context.


Chow Tai Fook 'ripped off'

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group has tired of having its products copied on the mainland and has issued a stern warning to counterfeiters saying it had instructed lawyers to investigate and collect evidence of counterfeiting. The company is particularly concerned about its Bao Bao family collection which was launched in 2002 and has seen sales of some two million pieces. In its statement the company complains that jewellery retailers and online traders on the mainland website Taobao "have been knowingly infringing the company's intellectual property rights, including intentionally replicating the Bao Bao Family product concept of featuring lovely angels with different blessings ..." There's just no accounting for taste.


Incinerator shenanigans

Green groups opposed to the government's proposed Shek Kwu Chau incinerator are waiting with interest to see if the government takes up an invitation by Air Products to visit the largest plasma gasification plant in the world when their Hong Kong delegation visits Europe in March.

The trip by officials from the Environmental Bureau, which will possibly include legislative councillors according to a briefing paper for the Legco panel on environmental affairs, is to learn about the development and operation of thermal waste treatment facilities.

The briefing paper notes that that the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator is "an essential tool to help Hong Kong reduce reliance on landfills". This begs the question of where the administration is proposing to put the ash which can be as much as 10 per cent by volume and 30 per cent by weight of the 3,000 tonnes per day feedstock.

The three-day visit will take in a small plasma gasification plant in Britain which handles about 150,000 tonnes a year of municipal solid waste (MSW) or about 50 tonnes a day which means that it is a small operation. It also takes in a visit to three incineration plants in Europe, one of which won't be completed until 2016-17. The Air Products project in Teeside is capable of handling 950 tonnes of MSW a day and is due to start commissioning in March. At the same time it is starting work on a second project of the same size. It will produce syngas which will be used to produce 100 megawatts of renewable electricity to power 100,000 homes. In addition an inert vitrified slag is produced which can be used by local aggregate companies.

The Air Products invitation is extended to the Hong Kong government and Legco officials, and members of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and members of the recently formed Waste Management Association. The response to the invitation will be an interesting test as to how seriously the EB is in looking at alternative technologies.


Grimmer moves on

Continuing the movement within corporate communications in banking we see that HSBC's communication's head honcho in Asia, Tom Grimmer, has resigned after about only 18 months in the job. His place has been taken by Malcolm Wallis, previously HSBC's retail banking global head of communications. We gather the departure was amicable. Grimmer had been based in Beijing and was expected to move to Hong Kong. But he wanted to stay in Beijing where his family is based.


Have you got any stories that Lai See should know about? E-mail them to howard.winn@scmp.com


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

LC Paper No. CB(1)500/13-14(05)
(issued on 10 December 2013) - Administration's paper on "Visit to Europe on thermal waste treatment facilities"
Here is their itinerary - take heed
Day 2 March 4th visit Lakeside Colnbrook incinerator
'Finger points at Grundon’s incinerator as toxic cloud covers Colnbrook - Air pollution in Colnbrook on Thursday hit unprecedented levels with a suspected incident at Grundon’s Energy from Waste facility to blame for a toxic cloud nearly 2000% above acceptable levels'
Predicted Health Effects of Colnbrook Incinerator Dr J Thompson
Day 3 March 5 Netherlands Afval Energie Bedrijf (AEB) Waste Fired Power Plant Technology: Moving grate
Guardian Newspaper
Where's the worst air pollution in Europe and how much does it cost us?
What's the cost of air pollution in Europe? The latest EEA report has some answers
'These are the costs of illness and environmental damage caused by pollutants from industrial facilities '
AEB is the 484th most polluting facility in the whole of the European Union.
****www.eea.europa.eu/publications/cost-of-air-pollution Sheet 1 Overall aggregated Cost to Society per annum of AEB € 56 million (HK$ 590 million p.a.)
So, KTBYAss go with them, toss your nastiness into the bonfire, then breathe deeply long & hard at the above locations since they are safe & that will solve many annoying uneducated puerile comments
Bravo! Well Googled, Professor.
Now can you also Google for: bottom ash, fly ash, RDF, BOT, to broaden your basic 'expertise'; then maybe educate yourself about the difference between: pyrolysis, conventional gasification, pyrolysis-gasification, and plasma arc gasification.
Also, I am sure the Europe travelers will be very impressed by the Swindon (Plasma) gasification plant. What's the capacity? 100 kg per day? Ohhh, one for each building in Hong Kong! Forgot.
unlike you I have more than your brain quotient of a disused toaster I do not have to rely on Google for my knowledge base of the latest technology
Since you are obviously sleeping with certain male members of the local EPD you would be well informed to Google the real facts in between taking your head out of your recbum albeit the surrounding air where you reside in Tsing Yi is more full of shxt than your recbum thanks to the OGV shipping
Perhaps the ENB Legco delegation will now also visit Airproducts Tees side 1000 tpd plasma gasification plant which is commissioning in March 2014 , or the new gasifier in Morcenx by Europlasma or the new 600 tpd plasma plant being built with Westinghouse technology in Guizhou
That means you and Howard really, really should join the group to see the AP plant - maybe as members of the Hong Kong Waste Management Association? And you can fly to your home country on BA - maybe even gives you an opportunity to try some of the biofuel made from garbage by your Solena playboy friend.
Join the WMA ? Ah the Waste Management Assn that includes self-interest bozos & people like Irene Lo who slagged plasma w/o one iota of evidence
& which was lobbied by Christine
Wasteline Spring 2013
'Government was determined to play hard ball on this one this time.
Mr. Alex Luedi then pointed out that the Netherlands incinerated waste from UK & Switzerland burned waste from Naples in Italy. Taiwan had spare incineration capacity so why not send Hong Kong waste there. Ms. Loh said that Government hadn’t thought about exporting their waste but didn’t think that
it would be well supported in Hong Kong '
Mr. P K Lee asked whether something could be done to mollify the residents of Tseung Kwan O to assist with approval of the SENT Extension. Evidently they had complained a lot about odour from the landfill'
So the WMA recommends shipping our waste overseas. Great let's sell it to Oslo that has a problem finding enough & pay the funds to the poor.
Interesting that the mayor of Naples has directed the adoption of a Zero waste policy along with 100's of other Italian municipalities following the success of Capannori / Rossano Ercolini
I thought you guys were all in favor:
Read my comment!
why bother to read Lai See if you deem him an ignorant fool ?
why not go elsewhere + yodel?
It is a known fact that waste is a commodity in Europe
Many countries setup their power + heating systems years back based on burning waste so their existing infrastructure needs it
Since you are obviously not a native English speaker I corrected it for you
"KwunTongBypass Jul 11th 2013 9:45am"
"Another ignorant fool, who proves that he has no clue about waste incineration, & who's (WHOSE) eyes must have lit up when someone in Europe referred to waste as a 'commodity'! If you dare to Google for "tipping fee" or "gate fee" , + read all of the explanation(S) to the end, then you will realize that it is a 'commodity' for which YOU PAY to the incinerator for taking it! Europeans are NOT 'wedded' to incinerators, but have learnt to accept incineration - mostly using "old fashioned", "outdated", "sunset" moving grate technologies - as a means of keeping their countries SAFE & CLEAN. Europeans - + by the way the TAIWANESE too - built expensive overcapacity because they were listening to another set (OF) 'garbage experts' claiming that incineration will take away the incentive to recycle. Wrong again! By the way, Macau has six 300 tons per day incinerator lines, of which only three operate! Why don't you call them and ask if they want to buy some of our Treasure? And then let us know what their offer was!"
‘It’s a commodity’ No, the Oslo waste-to-energy projects mean business, literally. ”There’s a European waste market – it’s a commodity,” states Hege Rooth Olbergsveen, senior advisor for the program.
Trash to Cash
Oslo imports garbage
Sweden imports garbage
Germany imports the world's garbage
UK may have to import rubbish for incinerators
Netherlands Europe's biggest trash importer
Swiss highest recycling rates in the world mean of 76% of recyclable items being recycled Running those waste burning facilities at halfway decent efficiencies needs a constant inflow of waste, which might be a problem for Hawaii (seasonality of tourism), even Switzerland imports waste from Germany to keep plants going
Please, Howard Winn, and incinerator-hater-friends, do go with the group to Europe and visit these plants. At least you will once see one from the inside, and it will be a test as to how seriously you are looking at waste management technologies. And by the way, the "recently formed" Hong Kong Waste Management Association has just celebrated its 20th (!!) Anniversary. Maybe high time that you, as an 'expert' in waste management should become a member.


SCMP.com Account