To support Hong Kong’s sustainable development, the Government is
actively exploring various approaches to develop new land resources.
One possible approach is rock cavern development.
Cavern construction is an established technology. A number of cavern schemes for various uses have been successfully adopted around the world with notable examples in Canada, China, Finland, Japan, Korea, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the USA.
In fact, there are successful local examples of accommodating
facilities in rock caverns, including the Stanley Sewage Treatment
Works completed in 1995, as well as Island West Refuse Transfer
Station and Kau Shat Wan Explosives Depot both completed in 1997.
Also, in 2009, the University of Hong Kong reprovisioned the Western
Salt-water Service Reservoirs in rock caverns to release the site for its Centennial Campus development.
According to the findings of the study on “Enhanced Use of Underground Space in Hong Kong” completed by the Civil Engineering and Development Department in March 2011, Hong Kong is particularly suitable for developing rock caverns from the geological perspective. The relocation of the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works (STSTW) to caverns, with a view to releasing the existing site (about 28 hectares) for other beneficial uses. The relocation site has been proposed at Nui Po Shan of A Kung Kok.
The Drainage Services Department completed a feasibility study on the relocation of the STSTW to caverns (FSR) in end 2013. The results confirmed that relocating the STSTW is technically feasible and financially viable. Two-staged PE exercises are conducted and collected the public opinions on the relocation project.
After the FSR, we commenced the investigation and design works for the relocation project in September 2014. The project involves several professional engineering disciplines, and we will look into the possibility of introducing relevant advanced technologies and make reference to overseas experience with a view to optimizing the benefits of the project.