Hong Kong will badly need Container Terminal 10 once Kwai Chung reaches capacity and there is no other option, Port Development Board (PDB) secretary Richard Yuen says. Mr Yuen said the territory was growing tremendously as southern China developed. Hong Kong could not stop building or it would be unable to cope with the increased growth, he said. 'Our port cargo forecasts show that in the next 20 to 30 years there will be more container throughput produced which will satisfy all the ports in southern China, including Hong Kong,' he said. Mr Yuen was replying to Discovery Bay residents' objections to the development of CT10, 11, 12 and 13 on Lantau Island. According to the PDB's port cargo forecasts, overall port traffic is projected to rise at 5.4 per cent a year, from 1994 to 2016, when total throughput will reach 453 million tonnes. The PDB would ensure that facilities were not over or under-provided, Mr Yuen said. He said the Government had listened to the residents' objections, especially on environmental issues, and had made several amendments to earlier plans. Residents did not have to worry about the high cost of building CT10 because it would be built by the private sector. Perry Siu, Discovery Bay's sub-committee chairman on port matters, has said the Government should not rush into a decision on the Lantau ports and should wait and assess CT9's performance first. PDB senior town planner Michael Ma said one of the first amendments to the original Lantau ports plan was to build CT12 further away from CT10 and 11, putting the terminal out of sight of Peng Chau residents. Another amendment was the creation of artificial mountains with landscaping at CT10 and 11 to shield residents from noise. Noise levels would be subject to the more restrictive standards applied to semi-urban areas rather than those used for urban areas, Mr Ma said. So far three environmental impact studies have been carried out, including one for back-up land for CT10 and 11 and another two on terminal development and an alternative method of reclamation. The reclamation method most commonly used in Hong Kong relies on dredging soft mud from the sea-bed, then filling the site with sand. Another technique, called the 'drained method', involves draining the water from the sea-bed's soft mud and allowing the site to settle before sand is added. Mr Ma said the studies, which were tabled before the Advisory Committee on Environment last year and this year, had been approved. After objections from Discovery Bay residents, the Town Planning Board had also amended its planning procedures in March, requiring all developers taking part in the port project to submit their plans to the board for approval. This would allow developers to make amendments while conforming to the aims and criteria of the original plan. Mr Ma said a road from North Lantau to Hong Kong could be built only as part of the Lantau ports development.