Airport Authority’s Statement in Response to Media Report about the Progress of Reclamation Works of Three-runway System

Press Release - 25/02/2019

(HONG KONG, 25 February 2019) – The construction of Three-runway System (3RS) at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) commenced in August 2016. The first phase of works included stabilising the soft mud in the reclamation area by Deep Cement Mixing (DCM) works, installing prefabricated vertical drains and laying stone columns, in order to support the seawall and the newly reclaimed land. Other parts of the works, including sand blanket laying and construction of seawall, have been progressing according to plan. Over 90% of DCM works in the critical reclamation and seawall areas have been completed, and all the sand blanket laying work has been completed. Seawall areas of more than 9.5 km have been handed over by the DCM contractors to the main reclamation contractor for construction of the seawall, with over 5 km long rock core already laid to-date.

Reclamation filling has commenced since May 2018. This year will see a peak of demand for filling materials, with the target for completion of works within the critical areas (i.e. the third runway, taxiways connecting the middle runway, and other airfield infrastructure works etc.) in 2020 as scheduled. In the meantime, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) will hand over the newly reclaimed land in phases to other contractors to proceed with airfield infrastructure works according to works progress.

The 3RS project comprises different components, many of which have either been completed on time or ahead of schedule. The advance works of diverting the submarine power cables and aviation fuel pipelines were completed in the first quarter of 2018, and the diverted facilities are now in operation. The detailed design for the Third Runway Passenger Building, which commenced in 2016, is progressing well according to the programme. Terminal 2 foundation and its substructure, as well as the tunnel works for the new automated people mover system and baggage handling system have commenced and seen positive progress. Meanwhile, the construction of the concrete structure of the new Automated People Mover System Depot was completed ahead of schedule.

The inclement weather conditions and the supply of fill materials have caused a slippage in the schedule of reclamation filling of 3RS. However, the slippage in filling, being just one of the reclamation procedures, has not affected the overall programme at the present stage. The AA is confident in proceeding with the plan all along to commission the new Third Runway by 2022 and the entire 3RS by the end of 2024, and within the budget of HK$141.5 billion.

The contractor is responsible for the procurement, transportation and laying of filling materials in accordance with the contractual requirements. The sources identified by the contractor so far are able to supply sufficient fill materials for the reclamation of the 3RS project. The prices associated with any single source do not reflect the overall cost of the materials, as it has always been the plan for the main reclamation contractor to procure different types of fill materials from a variety of sources as required by the contractual requirements. At the moment, the main reclamation contractor has been using predominantly manufactured sand from the Mainland, supplemented by public fill generated locally as well as fill materials imported from other regions, including Malaysia and the Philippines. In the meantime, the contractor is arranging to import fill materials from different provinces in the Mainland, including Guangxi and Guangdong. AA will continue to work with the main contractor to secure the supply of fill materials. The contractor is also adding production lines of manufactured sand, identifying potential new quarries and increasing sorting facilities of public fill.

Construction contracts generally incorporate an outline of the construction programme; but as in other major infrastructure projects, the actual sequence and arrangements of works for each of the different parts of the 3RS construction will be adjusted according to site conditions and technical requirements. For example, after considering the effectiveness of DCM in ground improvement, the overall reclamation design has been optimised at an earlier stage by increasing the use of DCM method, which suits the construction needs and also brings the benefit of reducing the need for surcharging, helping to maintain the construction progress.

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