Date
11 December 2017
New railway work in Hong Kong will coincide with the construction of other infrastructure facilities in the city. Photo: CNSA
New railway work in Hong Kong will coincide with the construction of other infrastructure facilities in the city. Photo: CNSA

HK rail construction work seen at new peak in 7 years

Hong Kong is expected to see another peak in new railway construction between 2021 and 2022, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.

The railway projects will overlap with the construction of some other key infrastructure in the city, the report noted.

The infrastructure initiatives include the third runway at the airport, facilities and underground transportation network in the West Kowloon Cultural District, and the expansion and renewal of three major hospitals — Princess Margaret Hospital, United Christian Hospital, and the Kwong Wah Hospital, the report said.

Construction industry veterans have said that the government should evaluate the labor needs for each of the phases of a project and consider thoroughly whether the city has to import workers from overseas.

They urged the government to train more fresh workers to overcome the problem of an aging labor force.

According to the railway development strategy the government unveiled last week, the city will build six new lines and one extra station in the eight years through 2026, aiming to cover 75 percent of population in the city.

Construction industry experts have already foreseen a peak next year as MTR Corp. (00066.HK) is building five rail lines. The rail lines, together with other ongoing projects in the city, are expected to result in a shortage of about 8,000 construction workers.

Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union has estimated that about 200,000 workers will be needed next year and 140,000 in the following year.

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VW/AC/RC

Freelance journalist

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