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Kwai Tsing container basin dredging works, Hong Kong

Throughput at the wharves in Hong Kong makes it one of the busiest ports in the world. To accommodate the new generation of container vessels, approach channels needed deepening to upgrade access. We provided an environmental impact assessment followed by a commission for engineering services.

The project comprises dredging the seabed of the Kwai Tsing container basin, as well as portions of Northern Fairway and Western Fairway. The reprofiling of the seabed would provide sufficient depth in the container basin and approach channel for the safe navigation of the new generation of ultra large container ships.

Mott MacDonald was commissioned by Hong Kong's Civil Engineering and Development Department to conduct a full environmental impact assessment (EIA) study of the dredging works in Kwai Tsing container basin and its approach channel. We were also appointed for a full range of design, construction and supervision services.

Challenges and solutions

It was estimated that around 5.5 million m3 of sediment has to be dredged and disposed of under this project. There were concerns about contaminated material in sediment becoming remobilised during dredging and during disposal.

The EIA study was undertaken in accordance with an EIA study brief. All the related technical assessments such as water quality, sediment quality, ecology and fisheries were carried out in accordance with established criteria and guidelines stipulated in the Technical Memorandum of the Hong Kong EIA Ordinance.

Assessment used quantitative models with measurement and monitoring protocols agreed with the Environmental Protection Department, Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department and other relevant Government departments. The focus of the EIA study was water quality and the classification and disposal of marine sediment.

The EIA also took into account design information from in-house engineering design teams and potential cumulative impacts from major concurrent projects in the assessment area, as well as comments raised by stakeholders during the EIA process.

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