• Mon
  • Sep 22, 2014
  • Updated: 1:29pm

Officials have failed to convince public about merits of incinerator

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 4:21am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 4:21am

I am among people who have written saying that the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator project is driven by politics and vested interests. A recent flurry of supportive opinion pieces and letters only reinforces this view - coming from bodies such as two chambers of commerce, and the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers (HKIE).

While the chambers can be expected to support businesses, the institute seems like it could be an expert, non-partisan organisation. Yet it appears curious that six of 24 committee members are in the Environmental Protection Department.

Proponents of the incinerator - and the related expansion of three landfills - have held fast to arguments that have been presented for years, without convincing Hong Kong people. For extra pressure, we're even told the issue is urgent, as if Hong Kong could be suddenly smothered in waste.

But proponents fail to tell us why, with such urgency, they advocate an incinerator that cannot be operational for a decade or so. Other questions likewise go unanswered, and there's disregard for research finding cancers and birth defects among people living near incinerators. Nor are there satisfactory responses regarding proposed alternatives, including a major effort at implementing zero-waste strategies, treating food waste through the Stonecutters sewage plant, and substituting incineration with the more advanced, far cleaner and more versatile plasma arc waste treatment.

Environment Secretary Wong Kam-sing and undersecretary Christine Loh Kung-wai gave assurances there would be discussions of waste technologies, yet no such public discussions have occurred.

Reflecting the profound unwillingness to consider alternatives, a recent Environmental Protection Department-organised trip to Europe took legislators to a Danish incinerator that will include a ski slope but won't be completed till 2016 or later, but omitted the world's largest plasma arc waste facility, which took around two years to build and will be in start-up phase this year.

In his letter ("Artificial island near Shek Kwu Chau best site for incinerator", April 23) Raymond Chan Kin-sek, president of the HKIE, claimed, "The institute wants to see different stakeholders working hand in hand to solve the controversial issues with a view to formulating optimal, multi-pronged waste management measures that can be accepted by all parties in the community."

These seem fine words. But Mr Chan's notion is impossible while the government holds fast to the incinerator plus landfills strategy, stubbornly telling us there can be no Plan B.

Dr Martin Williams, founder, Hong Kong Outdoors


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OldPeak Toad
What are you all actually harping about? The technology, or the way infrastructure projects are "awarded" in Hong Kong??
Who do you think would build and benefit from your pet plasma 'science fiction' thingy??
Ohh, and this one just in:
Bordeaux, 29 April, 2014
Publication of the FY2013 Accounts delayed - Annual General Meeting postponed
Europlasma informs its Shareholders that, due to the delay in the Take Over Date of the CHO
Morcenx power plant, it is not able to publish its 2013 Accounts within four months from year-end closing.
In April, the performance tests were prejudiced by problems on auxiliary equipment. These failures do not challenge the technology, but they need to be corrected in order to ensure optimal performance in the long term.
Since the Take Over Date cannot be precisely scheduled, Europlasma is not able to communicate to its shareholders a provisional agenda regarding the authorization by the Board to release the FY2013 Accounts and their publication.
Just what Hong Kong needs, another infrastructure project which will be delayed endlessly.
what a LUEDI-crous LUED-dite reply
Of course if the Frogs used Westinghouse or Chinook technology they would be up & running already like they are in Teesside & at Chinook Energy sites
'Chinook Sciences wins Rushlight Waste to Energy award for 2012-2013'
Feb 4th, 2013 www.chinookenergy.com/articles.asp?newsID=33
'The Rushlight Awards are judged by an independent panel of recognized experts covering all clean technology sectors drawn from academia, trade associations, government departments + specialist media. In particular, the judges included senior figures from DEFRA, the Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Institute of Environmental Sciences, DECC, WRAP, PERA, the Renewable Energy Association + the Carbon Trust, along with noted academics from the Universities of York, Newcastle, Nottingham, London, Edinburgh + Cranfield'
HM the Queen’s award for enterprise (gee she gave it to a plasma gasification company!)
UK firms recognized for recycling, renewable energy operations
April 2014 www.chinookenergy.com/articles.asp?newsID=45
HM The Queen's Awards for Enterprise, an annual awards program for British businesses & other organizations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development, has recognized Chinook Sciences + Veolia Environment as winners of the award for 2014. The awards are the highest official U.K. awards for British businesses
OldPeak Toad
yep, you are indeed
Man oh man, aren't you a paranoid fool! How many times do you get it oh so wrong every day?
The following may also be of interest to you - about a project that was first announced in 2008 (!):
Wed 16 Apr 2014 – The British Airways and Solena project to convert landfill waste into jet fuel has received a major boost with the announcement of the location chosen for the facility. The site will be in the Thames Enterprise Park, a regeneration project just east of London on the estuary of the River Thames that includes a former oil refinery. Work on building the GreenSky facility is expected to start in 2015 and employ around 1,000 workers in the construction, which is due to be completed in 2017.........
Wasn't this the company that wanted to build one of those in HK in 18 onths, and for free??
I guess we have to wait for a while for that sublime travel experience sitting in an aircraft propelled by fuel made from teabags HM THE QUEEN has gracefully left on her tray, or maybe from sold old hats - or even old horse riding boots left by HM the PRINCE.
Well written. This project is a good example of crony capitalism at its best. My guess is Edward "CX Diamond" Yau already awarded the contracts for this project and govt. is now trying to find funding by falsely claiming there are no other alternatives and lining up the usual govt. sycophants to get the message out. By the time this white elephant is on line, the people responsible will be long gone so zero accountability.

If govt. was serious about waste management, the first step would be the separation of waste streams (recyclables, organic, hazardous and the rest) to reduce the need for landfills and incinerators. However, it is apparent that govt. can't even get a credible recycling program off the ground!
Incinerator builder CHINA EVERBRIGHT INT now sees the (PLASMA) light
Through the introduction of PLASMA GASIFICATION technology as the project's preferred technical solution, it …

U.S. firm to invest $390 million to convert solid waste into electricity
Cahill Energy to Invest $240 Million in Barbados Clean Energy Plant
Air Products' (AP) factory will support Government energy drive
AP building another advanced gasification plant in Billingham, UK
BA to fuel flights using landfill waste
www.solenafuels.com/index.php/projects Lufthansa plant
Plasma gasifier Bije China
Morcenx plant (France) is currently under commissioning start-up
Well said Martin, you and Michael Pratt of the Living Islands Movement seem to be the only people who can see through government misinformation, vested interest and the all too familiar failure in HK to reconsider decisions once made
Ah yes HKIE ENViro committee
HKIE Hon Secretary LEE Ping Kuen, AECOM (SWC incinerator consultants)
Prof POON Chi Sun HKG PolyU Major incinerator supporter and recipient of EPD fundings for 'Eco' bricks made of pressed non kiln-treated flyash + glass
Prof Irene LO Man Chi HKUST Like Poon, mouthpiece promoting incineration Refused (unable) to provide evidence to support her media spouted words on actual reasons Utashinai plant closure (no feedstock)
List of Committee Members 2013-2014 work for:
HK EPD, incl Elvis AU incinerator proponent,HK Electric, CLP, HK Productivity Council, MTRC, HKJC, & yes,Maxims Caterers!
It is ironic that CIWEM worldwide policy (98 worldwide branches) on food waste handling (including HKG) should be being promoted, enforced & recommended by its CIWEM branch chairman + committee here
So who is chairman of CIWEM branch here ? Well none other than AECOM's Lee Ping Kuen JP, - just a teeny weeny mega conflict of interest
Methinks something stinks in the SAR Hong Kong


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