New Hong Kong Desalination Plant Begins Delivering Fresh Water To 137,000 Homes

ON 02/09/2024 AT 07 : 59 AM

The new Tseung Kwan O desalination plant is the first to use reverse osmosis technology in Hong Kong. Construction of the first stage plant began in December 2019, and four years later it began supplying fresh water to homes throughout the territories.

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) engaged Binnies, an RSK Group company, to deliver a feasibility study for the project in December 2012.

Subsequently, the Binnies Hong Kong team provided investigation, design and construction supervision for the first stage of the project up to its commissioning on 22 December 2023.

As detailed by the WSD, the Tseung Kwan O project is a key initiative in the government’s water management strategy and route map to achieve water sustainability and security while supporting development in Hong Kong. Adopting seawater desalination supports these objectives and provides a reliable supply of potable water that is not susceptible to the effects of climate change.

Desalination is a highly energy-intensive process, and attention has been given to introducing measures to reduce raw resource use and to prevent waste. During the plant’s operation, solar panels will be used to provide renewable energy, resulting in a 16.2 per cent reduction in grid-supplied energy for building services.

Water recycling and reuse processes will also reduce freshwater consumption by 36.6 per cent, and installed water saving devices will reduce freshwater use by 53 per cent. Rainwater harvesting systems have also been installed to reduce water consumed for irrigation purposes by 67 per cent.

The WSD has started the preliminary design for the second stage of the plant, and the adjacent site is also earmarked for future expansion, with a water production capacity that will meet around 10 per cent of the overall fresh water demand in Hong Kong.