Engineering a More Sustainable Future: The Case of Hong Kong’s Power Generation and Transport

The gas-fired generation unit D1 at Black Point Power Station

By Rex Wong

The impact of super typhoon Saola and a subsequent severe rainstorm in September 2023 remains seared into the memories of the people in Hong Kong—we woke to fallen trees, debris and the aftermath of flooding on roads. Thanks to Hong Kong’s world-class infrastructure, despite the fact that the damages caused were unprecedented, the impact on the public was not as bad as they could have been—people’s daily lives resumed soon after. However, these incidents, along with the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters worldwide, serve as a wake-up call to the effects of climate change. It has emerged as one of the most significant challenges that has far-reaching implications on the sustainability of the city’s socio-economic system and individuals’ well-being.

Decarbonisation efforts and plans have been on the rise in many regions. They require the joint efforts, collective wisdom and long-term commitment of various stakeholders, including those from the power generation and transportation industries. In Hong Kong, according to the Government’s latest greenhouse gas inventory released in July 2023, 62.7 per cent of the city’s carbon emissions come from electricity generation as local fuel mix remains heavily reliant on fossil fuels, while 18.7 per cent and 8.4 per cent of the emissions came from transport and waste management respectively.

In response to the Government’s action plan and societal expectations, the power generation sector in Hong Kong has been upgrading the city’s power stations over the years to reduce carbon emissions. Being an energy infrastructure specialist of Hong Kong with a strong foothold locally for 60 years, Kum Shing Group has been working collaboratively with the power generation companies to support the transition to greener energy by playing a part in several power station upgrading projects since 2008. Among those projects include the building of D1 and D2 gas-fired generation units adopting the combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) technology at Black Point Power Station in Lung Kwu Tan. The reprovisioning works of the open cycle gas turbines (OCGT) at the Lamma Power Station are also in full swing. With an aim to increase power generation efficiency, three existing gas turbine units at the power station are being demolished and replaced with the new ones.

The generator of the gas-fired unit

Waste-to-energy is another prominent front on Hong Kong’s greener energy transition. Chemical waste loads are increasing in tandem with population expansion. The Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong Government has been establishing chemical waste treatment facilities and incineration line at the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) over the past three years with Kum Shing’s support under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

Lifting work at the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre in Tsing Yi

The project team delivered the lifting and installation of the three large-scale waste heat boilers under a tight schedule of only three days with precise completion. As a crucial component of the incinerator under construction, the waste heat boilers will utilise the hot exhaust gases from incineration process to boil the water up the water tubes while the steam will be drawn off to drive the turbine and generator.

Chief Executive Officer, Kum Shing Group

Rex is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction, business development and operational excellence of Kum Shing Group, Hong Kong’s energy infrastructure specialist. With more than 20 years of experience in design practice, property development and infrastructure projects, he has a proven track record of delivering high-quality, innovative and sustainable solutions for the built environment. Rex is a registered architect; a BEAM Professional; a LEED Accredited Professional (AP); and a fine arts major. He actively contributes to the advancement of his profession and society through the roles of a startup supporter; a guest speaker; a panellist; and a public servant. Currently, he is the Honorary Secretary of the Hong Kong Construction Association as well as a member of the Construction Industry Council; Occupational Safety and Health Council; Common Spatial Data Advisory Committee; Municipal Services Appeals Board; Steering Committee of New Energy Transport Fund; Committee on Self-financing Post-secondary Education; Council of the City University of Hong Kong; Hong Kong Housing Society; and Tender Committee and Audit Sub-Committee of the Hong Kong Housing Authority.

This is an excerpt. The original article is published in
Construction+ Q4 2023 Issue: The Power of Construction Engineering.
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