Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Sunday, Dec 03, 2023

Price tag for artificial islands off Hong Kong’s Lantau balloons to HK$580 billion

Price tag for artificial islands off Hong Kong’s Lantau balloons to HK$580 billion

Development Bureau unveils new details of Lantau Tomorrow Vision including downgraded forecast for land revenue.

The estimated cost of building three artificial islands to house more than half a million people in space-starved Hong Kong has jumped by 16 per cent to HK$580 billion (US$75 billion), while the projected revenue from selling the land has fallen by nearly a fifth, the government has revealed.

Despite the worsening financial picture, the Development Bureau on Tuesday said it would go ahead with the Lantau Tomorrow Vision and create 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) of artificial land to the west of Hong Kong Island, arguing the costs involved were likely to change before the first stage of the project was completed in 2033.

“This is a medium to long-term development project,” the bureau’s spokesman said. “We are not worried about short-term market fluctuations.”

When the project cost was unveiled by the previous administration in 2019, it carried an initial price tag of HK$500 billion and was expected to generate HK$925 billion in land sale revenue for the development of 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres).

But according to the bureau’s latest estimates, the cost will be at least HK$580 billion, while just HK$750 billion is expected from auctioning off sites to developers.

But the spokesman noted that once the entire project was completed, decades from now, the three islands would be home to economic activity amounting to HK$200 billion annually. The government would also consider a variety of options to raise funds, such as issuing bonds, he said.

The bureau also revealed new details about the design of the islands, which would be separated by a Y-shaped channel to help protect ecology and avoid impact on water quality. Up to 210,000 flats are planned for a population of 550,000 with the first batch of homes set to be delivered by 2033, according to a paper the bureau submitted to the Legislative Council.

Authorities aim to provide the first homes on 300 hectares of reclaimed land, out of a planned 1,000 under the first stage of the project, while the remaining 700 hectares would be built decades after.

The government also hoped to construct what would be the city’s third central business district, spanning 100 hectares, on the new island closest to Hong Kong Island, while the other two islands would accommodate recreation, tourism and utility infrastructure.

All three islands would be linked with a mass transit system, while a new 13km (8-mile) road would connect the new area with Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island.

But under the latest plan, the bureau has amended its proposed route for a railway extending from the new islands to the New Territories. Instead of running along the south of Tuen Mun as previously suggested, it now continues north to Hung Shui Kiu to link with a proposed line to Qianhai in Shenzhen.

The bureau denied accusations the revised rail link would neglect the needs of certain residents. Instead, it stressed the new route could enhance the islands’ connectivity with the Northern Metropolis, a plan to build homes for 2.5 million people in the New Territories near the border with mainland China, transforming it into an I&T and housing hub.

Environmentalists have from the outset opposed the mega reclamation project, and on Tuesday Chan Hall-sion, a senior campaigner at Greenpeace Hong Kong, urged the plan be scrapped, arguing the cost would only go up due to inflation. Authorities had also not yet revealed details of the project’s environmental impact, she noted.

An artist’s illustration depicting the project’s community living spaces.

“It is hard to convince the public to push forward the project,” Chan said, suggesting the government instead develop brownfield sites, or damaged agricultural lands mostly occupied by warehouses.

The bureau will launch a public consultation early next year and meet district councils and professional institutes, while the public could submit their views via letters or online.

Thomas Lee, president of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, said he believed the government would not blindly push forward with the project given the costs involved, although officials could hold meetings with the public to gather feedback on the project and explain their plan

The government aims to complete the detailed design for the project, apply for funding from the legislature and start reclamation by 2025.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?