A top official has said that the first stage of the proposed reclamation plans off Lantau Island may cost around HK$150 billion.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s Lantau Tomorrow Vision proposal involves building 1,700 hectares worth of artificial islands off the coast of Lantau. Of which, 1,000 hectares would be reclaimed near Kau Yi Chau.

Secretary for Development Michael Wong told reporters on Thursday that the cost of reclamation near Kau Yi Chau was estimated to be between HK$1,300 and HK$1,500 per square foot, meaning the final price tag could be between HK$130 billion and HK$150 billion.

Michael Wong
Michael Wong. Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

Wong said that the estimation was made according to the cost of the contract signed in January for the 137 hectare Tung Chung New Town Extension land reclamation project.

“When we signed the contract, we already knew that the export of mainland marine sand would decrease. But we were still able to attain this cost… around HK$950 per square feet,” he said after attending a Yuen Long District Council meeting.

“[Sea levels at] Kau Yi Chau are slightly deeper compared to Tung Chung,” he added, when explaining the reason behind higher cost at Kau Yi Chau. “We are confident with the cost estimate.”

Carrie Lam.
Carrie Lam holding a pamphlet for the Lantau Tomorrow Vision. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Wong also said Hong Kong produces 15 million tons of construction waste every year and that it can be used as material for 60 hectares of land reclamation. He said such waste will constitute a certain percentage of the artificial islands reclamation plan.

According to government documents, reclamation for the airport’s third runway used only 10 million square metres of construction waste across its 100 million square metre reclamation area.

Asked by reporters why the ratio of usage of construction waste used was low, Wong said he cannot speak for the Airport Authority, who were in charge of the project. But he said that other materials may also be used in reclamation projects.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.