The quality of the harbour environment in Hong Kong is closely associated with our economy, society and environmental protection effort. Hence, the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS) had established at its early conception a clear target to support sustainable development in Hong Kong.
Established in 1989 and tasked with the implementation of HATS, an important project, the Drainage Services Department (DSD) has worked tirelessly to realise the HATS vision to improve the water quality of Victoria Harbour. A challenging project on a mega scale, HATS incorporates elements of environmental-friendly design and has become a model of sustainability in many respects. Take for example, its deep sewage tunnel system is based on energy-saving design principles; the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works and its associated preliminary treatment facilities attach great importance to energy efficiency and other environmental performance. Most notable and well recognised is its highly environmentally responsible sludge disposal arrangement, including the design and building of two marine vessels, namely Clean Harbour 1 and Clean Harbour 2, dedicated to transporting sludge to T · PARK in Tuen Mun to achieve energy saving and emissions reduction. Indeed, T · PARK is an innovative waste-to-energy facility which transforms sludge into energy, generating not only a self-sufficient amount of energy for its own consumption, but also surplus electricity to feed into the city grid. This is one of the sources of renewable energy in Hong Kong.
I heartily thank our DSD colleagues for their professionalism and pragmatism as well as their innovation and quest for progress over the years in making HATS a reality, and all stakeholders for their contribution. The classic Cross Harbour Race has returned in recent years to the central part of Victoria Harbour, a testimony to the many benefits brought by HATS to the community, including fostering a water-friendly culture. This is beneficial to people’s livelihood and our economic development too. Looking ahead, we must continue to monitor and upgrade the water quality in Victoria Harbour to ensure that both sides of the Harbour and the Harbour itself continue to thrive, so that our people will happily embrace the waterfriendly culture while society enjoys bliss and harmony.