Veolia has secured a new waste management contract in Hong Kong valued at over €2bn. The French environmental services company announced on Wednesday that it is to build and operate the West New Territories landfill on behalf of the Special Administrative Region's Environmental Protection Department (EPD). Over the 20-year life span of the contract, the company will be responsible for all phases of the project from construction to after-care.
The landfill expansion has been designed to process up to 90 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste over 20 years, according to Veolia. The environmental services company says that it will be able to capture at least 90 per cent of the methane emitted by the landfill and with that gas then used to power operations at the site. The company noted that surplus biogas can be exported to the municipal grid in the form of electricity or town gas.
Resource efficiency is also to play a role during the construction of the landfill expansion. Extracted rock is to be used for land development and help reduce Hong Kong's dependence on material imports.
The WENT landfill is Hong Kong's largest landfill, and the only one which can receive waste transported by sea, according to a report submitted to the public work's subcommittee of Hong Kong's legislature during the project's planning phase. In 2021, the landfill was handling more than half of Hong Kong's municipal solid waste, or around 6,000 tonnes per day, and its capacity was expected to be exhausted in 2026. Planners were anticipating that it would take three to four years from the start of expansion works until commissioning of the new capacity. The expansion of the landfill is intended to be an interim solution to Hong Kong's waste management problems; the SAR plans to have "sufficient waste-to-energy infrastructure with adequate treatment capacity" in place by 2035.
Veolia notes that it has been a " historic partner of Hong Kong since the 1990s", contributing to ecological transformation in waste and energy activities. The company also built and operates the sewage sludge incineration plant "T-Park" in the SAR. In 2022, Veolia managed 5.9 million tonnes of non-hazardous waste in Hong Kong, said the company.