Third runway sand imports will cost HK$20b, report says

Local | 22 Oct 2018 1:53 pm

Importing sand from the mainland for the airport's third runway project is going to blow the budget for the reclamation works, local news agency FactWire reported today.

The agency said bringing in enough marine sand from Qinzhou in Guangxi as planned will cost between HK$16.5 billion and HK$20.6 billion, far exceeding the HK$15.3 billion earmarked for the main reclamation project.

For the third runway and a new terminal, 650 hectares are being reclaimed. Work is due to be completed by July 2021.

Construction of the third runway, which began in August 2016, is estimated to require 100 million cubic metres of fill materials, with 10 million coming from public fill generated from local works sites and the remaining 90 million to be sourced from outside Hong Kong.

FactWire said according to sand mining companies in Guangxi it has spoken to, the market price for marine sand has increased significantly due to government crackdowns on illegal sand extraction.

"Sand is running short in supply in Qinzhou because everybody is buying it from here," said one local businessman who dredges and sells natural sand, adding that he did not believe the government would subsidize the export of sand to Hong Kong.

FactWire said the Airport Authority did not specify what it would do if the cost of importing marine sand does go over budget, for example by subsidizing the sand prices.

"The cost of fill materials and transportation costs are included in the HK$15.3 billion contract price. The contractor is responsible for sourcing adequate sand fill, including marine sand and other fill materials," the agency quoted the authority as saying.-FactWire/RTHK. Photo: FactWire

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