• Wed
  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Updated: 9:58pm

Proposed incinerator will meet latest EU emission standards

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 May, 2014, 3:43am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 May, 2014, 3:43am

I refer to the letters by Martin Williams ("Officials have failed to convince public about merits of incinerator", May 1) and Charlie Chan ("Incineration plans are outdated", May 10) and the columns by Philip Bowring ("The politics of self-interest rules in Hong Kong", May 4) and Howard Winn in Lai See ("Waste matters", May 3).

The thermal treatment technology to be adopted for Hong Kong's first integrated waste management facility for municipal solid waste (MSW) near Shek Kwu Chau has been subject to a lengthy and thorough review process covering, for example, advanced moving grate, gasification and plasma gasification. Advanced moving grate was chosen because it is still the mainstream waste treatment technology adopted worldwide for large-scale MSW treatment. It has merits on environmental performance, reliability, operation adaptability and cost effectiveness.

It is incorrect to say moving grate is outdated. It has had continuous enhancements over the years and is still regarded as very reliable and robust to fully meet the latest European Union emission standards, which are the highest standards for modern incinerators in the world. In fact, over 90 per cent of new thermal treatment plants commissioned since 2009 used moving grate technology, including new plants being built, such as in Copenhagen.

Hong Kong's facility will also adopt state-of-the-art, advanced systems such as the selective catalytic reaction system to further reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides.

We are fully aware of those plasma gasification plants referred to by Winn. These plants are still under commissioning, construction or yet to be built.

Compared to the treatment capacity of 3,000 MSW [tonnes] per day we are planning, the plasma gasification plants are still relatively small, with very limited performance track record.

It would take several years of operation before the effectiveness and efficacy of those plants can be evaluated and established. We will closely monitor their development and take into account their actual operational experiences in future studies.

The environmental impact assessment concluded the operation of the modern incinerators will not have adverse impacts on public health. Recent international reviews show well-managed and regulated modern municipal waste incinerators do not pose a risk to public health.

The integrated waste management facility can help reduce the volume of municipal solid waste by 90 per cent, significantly reducing the use of landfill space, turn waste into energy and contribute to climate change mitigation.

Elvis W. K. Au, assistant director of environmental protection


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This article is now closed to comments

Environmental performance of incinerators includes toxic emissions [no matter how hard you try to filter them], and toxic ash.
No good means of ash disposal given.
Elvis continues ignoring research into adverse health impacts of incinerators.
Plasma arc has long record for various uses; for waste treatment it is fast up and coming - and no wonder given the flexibie use of the relatively clean "syngas" produced, along with zero ash.
But even govt's idea of tossing thousands of tonnes of unsorted waste into a giant bonfire is itself outdated; many places are making strides towards zero waste. San Francisco a leading light here, lately banning single-use plastic water bottles: anyone who sees south facing beaches at present, or heads to lap sap bins around HK, can see we lag way behind here.
But Elvis continues, same old story; and there are alternatives - as anyone bothering to read some of papers from dynamco would know very well.
Go check on the "progress" or your plasma plants, and report back, will you!
Cat got your tongue???
If it is so damn clean, Elvis, stick it in Tsang Tsui where the site is ready and waiting, there is no population to speak of (Fat Lau having moved out of his home village to the Peak years ago), where construction costs will be far less and to which your lapsap can be taken by sea or road.
So, if they build plasma plants, Shek Kwu Kau is OK???
A predictable and illogical assumption on your part.
Shek Kwu Chau is the wrong place for any kind of industrial facility and I have always said so.
Elvis cannot have it both ways.
If his pet incibnerator is as clean as he says, then it can go anywhere and the logical location is Tsang Tsui, as the EIA confirmed on all counts.
Let's hear from dynamco another listing of 100 documents, 50 websites, and more shot gun of undigested, unfiltered random information ! Elvis Au and all the bureaucrats in the Environmental Protection Department can then digest his words of wisdom, change their minds, and do what's right for Hong Kong waste management policy. Meanwhile, he should seriously think about how he can clearly communicate his ideas, take action instead of just tapping on his keyboard, and not blasting out mindless emails in his next campaign to influence public policy. Ranting and raving like a drunkard stumbling out of Lan Kwai Fong will not get him anywhere.
Enough said.
‘not have adverse impacts on public health’
AU’s a blatant liar/ misconduct in public office ignoring online peer research ‘deaths cancer proximity incinerators’
China embraced gasification & away from moving grate
HKG's wet market food waste has 90% water content.
Burning MSW tainted by food waste (CV<2MJ/kg) oil or coal needs to be added as takes more energy to burn 2 MJ/kg CV food waste than can be recovered : co-combustion requires 7 MJ/kg Calorific Value
Copenhagen 2017 plant was opposed by ENB Minister Ida Auken
“In a few weeks, Govt will present a strategy requiring households to sort waste into several bins rather than sending the majority of it to the incinerator.Danes will have to sort more of their waste. The goal is definitely to recycle more & incinerate less. That is a paradigm shift for Denmark, because so far,we have been the world champions of waste incineration” Auken
Burn an empty box of course you reduce the volume but by weight 30% remains after burning that needs LANDFILL. Wet waste needs increased burn temp or dioxins spew.
Blatant CIWEM member AU ignores CIWEM’s policy on food waste:
www.ciwem.org/policy-and-international/policy-position-statements/food-waste-disposers.aspx Where is our source separation of MSW legislation?
Blah, blah, blah.......................................................................................
PS: In China there are currently some 300 THREE HUNDRED ! old fashioned incinerators under construction!


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