16 District Energy / Fourth Quarter 2018 © 2018 International District Energy Association. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Department of the Hong Kong government, which owns it. The system was
designed and built and is operated by
Hong Kong District Cooling DHY Joint
Venture, in which Veolia is a partner,
responsible for district cooling system
operation and management.
Today two plants serve KTD: The
North Plant is located in Kowloon Bay,
with the South Plant and a seawater
pump house sited underground on the
old airport runway peninsula, on the
waterfront near the new regional Kai
Tak Cruise Terminal. Cool seawater is
pumped to the district cooling plant
where it passes through the shell-and-tube-type condenser on the chillers to
cool the refrigerant to produce chilled
water, which is distributed to customer
building substations. The warmed return
seawater is then piped back into the
ocean at a discharge point located far
away from the intake piping.
The chilled-water distribution net-
work is a three-pipe system consisting
of supply and return lines plus another
on standby for use should one of the
others be damaged or need mainte-
nance. In one part of the network, the
laying of these lines included construc-
tion of two 350-m-long ( 1,148-ft) sub-
sea tunnels under the Kai Tak Approach
Channel using the largest tunnel boring
machine ever used in pipe jacking in
Utilizing the cool seawater allows
Kai Tak DCS to consume 35 percent less
electricity than traditional air-cooled,
in-building air-conditioning systems and
20 percent less than water-cooled in-building systems using cooling towers.
When fully built, Kai Tak DCS will have
an 81,000-ton cooling capacity and save
the community up to 85 million k Wh
in annual power consumption. This will
eliminate 59,500 tons of CO2 emissions
per year and help mitigate KTD’s heat
Customers currently connected to
Kai Tak DCS include the Kai Tak Cruise
Terminal, Ching Long Shopping Centre,
Hong Kong Children’s Hospital, two
schools, two metro stations, the Trade
and Industry Tower, and the city’s Electrical and Mechanical Services Department headquarters. Completion of the
third and final phase of system development is tentatively projected by
2026 (depending on KTD’s construction schedule). At that time, Kai Tak DCS
expects to supply chilled-water cooling
service via 40 km ( 25 miles) of piping to
1.73 million sq m ( 18. 6 million sq ft) of
floor space in 50 customer buildings.
From Dubai to Hong Kong, district
cooling providers are offering services
that help their customers in large cities
ensure the comfort of tenants and guests
(plus 65,000 sea creatures, dolphins and
sharks, in the case of Atlantis, The Palm).
They are doing so with systems designed
to support growing urban populations
while increasing energy efficiency, reduc-
ing emissions and conserving scarce wa-
ter supplies. In a world projected to need
30 percent more water and 45 percent
more energy by 2030 (and 50 percent
more food), 8 district cooling and heating
technology is making an important contri-
bution to sustainable development, in the
Middle East, Asia-Pacific and elsewhere
around the world.
Author’s note: District Energy wishes to
thank Samer Khoudeir, Empower; James
Taylor, Atlantis, The Palm; Danyal Hatock,
Jordan District Energy; Amar Farjo, Johnson
Controls Inc.; Derrick Yap Vee Lee, Singapore District Cooling Pte. Ltd.; P.C. Chan and
S.K. Lo, Electrical and Mechanical Services
Department, Government of the HKSAR;
Chris Chong, Hong Kong District Cooling
DHY Joint Venture (Veolia); and Laxmi Rao,
IDEA; for their contributions to this article.
1 Population Division of the U.N. Department of
Economic and Social Affairs, 2018 Revision of
World Urbanization Prospects, as quoted in“68%
of the world population projected to live in urban
areas by 2050, says UN, ” May 16, 2018
2 United Nations Environment Programme, District
Energy in Cities: Unlocking the Potential of Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 2015, p. 17
(citing Seto, K.C. et al, “Chapter 12: human settlements, infrastructure and spatial planning,”
Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change.
Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, O. Edenhofer et al, eds.).
3 Ibid, p. 23 (citing the International Energy Agency,
Heating Without Global Warming. Market Developments and Policy Considerations for Renewable
Heat, 2014, Paris).
4 Ibid, p. 23.
5 Ibid, p. 20.
6 United Nations Economic and Social Council,
Urbanization and sustainable development in Asia
and the Pacific: linkages and policy implications,
p. 2, March 7, 2017 ( https://tinyurl.com/ydeou2j5).
7 Ibid., p. 7.
8 Ibid., p. 13 (citing United Nations, Resilient People,
Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing, 2012).
Built on the former airport runway site, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal has a rooftop garden with views
of Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island. A district cooling customer, the terminal was
commissioned in 2013.