28 October 2016
Hong Kong's first self-sustained sludge treatment facility will offer three spa pools that will make use of the energy generated by the facility. Photo: HK Govt
Hong Kong's first self-sustained sludge treatment facility will offer three spa pools that will make use of the energy generated by the facility. Photo: HK Govt

Sludge incinerating facility to offer free spa services

Hong Kong people can look forward to enjoying complimentary spa services soon at T•PARK, the city’s first self-sustained sludge treatment facility that opened Thursday in Tuen Mun.

Located in the Tsang Tsui area, T•PARK boasts sludge incinerators with treatment capacity of up to 2,000 tons of sludge per day.

It comes with power generation and desalination units, as well as some educational and ecological facilities, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Chief executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing officiated at the opening ceremony of the seven-hectare plant yesterday.

T•PARK will collect and incinerate an average of 1,200 tons of sludge produced from 11 sewage treatment works across Hong Kong on a daily basis. Sewage sludge is used as fuel. The heat energy produced from the sludge incineration process is recovered and converted into electricity.

The treatment process is said to be able to considerably cut the volume of waste to be disposed of in the landfills in Western New Territories by up to 90 percent.

Wong said the waste treatment facility is self-sustainable and that the desalination process produces zero greenhouse gas emission into the atmosphere.

The plant used many recycled materials. The tables and bench chairs laid outside the plant, for instance, were made from wood taken from the old Wan Chai Pier.

Supported by the heat-energy recovered from the sludge incineration process, the plant houses three spa pools bearing different temperatures — hot (40 degrees Celsius), ambient (25 degrees Celsius) and cool (15 degrees Celsius) — while offering users sea view of Deep Bay.

The spa facilities can house up to 100 people. Each session will last 1.5 hours.

As the park is at a remote location, there will be free shuttle buses taking users to and from the facility from V City Shopping Mall in Tuen Mun. The bus journey will take about 20 minutes.

T•PARK had been scheduled for completion in 2012, but was finished only last year. The facility, which project cost increased by HK$300 million from an initial outlay, will be open to the public from June 29.

It will admit visitors from 10am to 7pm daily except on Tuesdays.

According to Ming Pao Daily News, some 40 representatives from the Ha Pak Nai Village protested at the opening ceremony, complaining that there was unpleasant odor coming out of the sludge facility since it became operational since last April.

Many villagers are said to have complained of dizziness and vomiting because of the smell.

Questioned about the issue, environment secretary Wong said that the Environmental Protection Department has been conducting objective and scientific monitoring. The environmental data on the facility will be uploaded onto a website so that the public can keep themselves informed, he said.

Village head Cheng Wai-kwan hit out at the government, saying that they were affected by the bad smell and that the situation is especially bad during 3 to 5 am when the sludge collected is dumped into the incinerators.

“Of course the government says it is odor-free; they never admit to the problems,” Cheng said.

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