Translator: EA; Reviewer: Wencheng
The “Tomorrow’s Lantau Island” man-made island project requires huge amount of sand construction materials, but the discussion of sand cost is still hidden from the public eye, which is the key point of the cost of Tomorrow’s Lantau Island.
In recent years, when promoting large-scale artificial island projects, the SAR government only says that Hong Kong has relied on land reclamation “since ancient times” in the past, but hides the fact that the cost of reclamation today is vastly different from that in the past, and ignores the stability of the future supply of marine sand and cost estimates.
We can analyze the latest data and historical changes from the Average wholesale price of construction materials published last month, find that the price of sand (including marine sand, river sand and crushed stone) has risen nearly 10 times since the records began (2003-2020), from $26 per ton in the past to $259 per ton today, which is the largest increase compared to many other types of construction materials, and even more dramatic than the price of gold.
A private land research work pointed out that, according to the application for 550 million artificial island engineering study documents of the upcoming Legislative Council Finance Committee funding, the cost of marine sand fill alone has to spend 174 billion public funds, accounting for the largest share of the government’s offer of 624 billion in spending. The increase in sand price has more than doubled in three years(2006-2008) exaggeratedly since the records began, therefore, it can be predicted that after the completion of the three-year engineering study, the overall cost of the project will most likely be bottomless abyss if we insist on pushing it.
Last year, Ming Pao also reported that China San-run reclamation construction company promised to import 100 million tons of sea sand, but did not keep its promise, which suddenly delayed the reclamation progress by half a year. Then the authorities had to find other imports from Guangxi to fill the gap, but they could only supply a tenth of the sand needed, and to this day the status of supply and delays is unknown.