Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hong Kong: Soko Islands RIP?

Will the peaceful Soko Islands Rest In Peace?

Today, Hong Kong's so-called Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has green-lighted CAPCO's plan to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and associated facilities at South Soko Island.

EPD: press release

CAPCO (Castle Peak Power Company Ltd), you will recall, is 60% owned by one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world: ExxonMobil. The other 40% is owned by one of the world's most successful and profitable power generation, transmission and supply companies: CLP (which used to be known as China Light & Power).

©Gavin Coates

The EPD's decision was based on an Environmental Impact Assessment supplied by CAPCO. Hello? Yes, that's right: CAPCO assessed itself. Oh, CAPCO didn't assess itself, it paid someone else to do its EIA. See Nick G in Comment.

It gets better: CAPCO's EIA report was issued on 27 December 2006 (Happy Christmas!). Oh, and the report was in English only. Nice. The report was of humongous length. Even better. And the general public had just one month to digest, formulate and respond. Better and better.

The full report which probably no one has ever read in its entirety, including the people who wrote it: Contents

The report which some people may have read, including some of the people who wrote it: Executive Summary

The 7 March 2007 CAPCO clarification (with photos and montages of the now as well as the imagined future): further info

But is it a done deal?
The spokesman stressed that the statutory ordinance dealt only with the environmental acceptability of the project. The project proponent had to seek policy approval on the development of the project and approvals or consents under relevant legislation in Hong Kong before the project could proceed.
Probably. Still, it's good to keep in mind that: It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.


Nick G said...

Though I am against the scheme, to be fair it wasn’t CAPCO who did the EIA - it was Environmental Resources Management (ERM) a Hong Kong-based independent firm commissioned by CAPCO. Even in this town, a developer isn’t allowed to do its own EIA.
Still a crying shame though

mister bijou said...


I sit corrected.