Container Terminal 9
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2010)|
Container Terminal 9 or CT9 (Chinese: 九號貨櫃碼頭) is the 9th container terminal in Hong Kong. It is located on Tsing Yi Island, facing Rambler Channel. It was the part of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals. The total site area is 1.5 square kilometres and the terminal itself comprises an area 0.68 km² and as long as 1.9 kilometres. The rest of land is for logistics and storage. When the terminal was built the sea bed was dredged (dug deeper) to accommodate the largest container vessels.
CT9 has 6 berths and a capacity of 3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). The terminal was developed by 3 operators, Modern Terminals Ltd. (MTL), Hongkong International Terminals Ltd. (HIT), and Asia Container Terminals Limited (ACT). ACT got two berths from MTL for two berths in exchange for contribution in CT9. Current, HIT has 2 berths in CT9 and MTL owns the remaining 4. The berth were to be completed by the year 2005.
Facing opposition from PRC
There was a long dispute in the building of CT9 between PRC and the United Kingdom in starting from November, 1992. Hong Kong Government purposely diversified the number of providers of port services awarding project through a directed tender and Sea-Land consortium got the project. However, PRC insisted the tender must be open and competitive bid. The PRC accused of the British Government the results was in favour of British interest. The British company Jardine Matheson, a company with its listing and incorporation withdrawn from Hong Kong in 1980s, participated in the consortium. The project keep delay until the Joint Liaison Group meeting of the UK and PRC in September, 1996. Jardine Matheson was willing to be withdrawn from the project in acquiring two existing berths.
After lengthy negotiation, the signing of the project was on 8 December 1998 and the terminal was open in 22 July 2003.
The decision of building CT9 on Tsing Yi Island aroused much concern from local residents. In 1990s, the traffic condition worsened. The residents worried that CT9 would bring too many Heavy Goods Vehicles to overburden Tsing Yi Bridge and Tsing Yi North Bridge, worsening the condition. They hoped the government to build Container Terminal 10 and 11 in North Lantau Island instead of CT9. With new highways, Route 3 and Route 9, and the Duplicate Tsing Yi Bridge were completed in late 1990s and early 2000s, some residents urged the government to complete the road infrastructure for CT9 before the completion of berths. As recently as 2005 the pressure on the traffic became much lower.
Another concern is environmental. CT9 is near Cheung Ching Estate and Mayfair Gardens. The machineries and heavy goods vehicles would cause noise pollution to these residential housing estates. Moreover, the spotlights of CT9 would disturb the residents. The government decided to leave a buffer for building offices, serviced apartments or hotels to block the noise and strong light. It turned out the serviced apartment Rambler Crest by Hutchison Whampoa was sold as property.
The seabed of the Rambler Channel was dredged to allow large vessels to berth in the new terminals. Those polluted and unpolluted muds and sands were moved to Cheung Chau and Sha Chau for treatment and storage. Greenpeace held a protest for the dumping of mud out of Hong Kong in 2000, fearing that the polluted muds would affect the environment of outlying islands.
New road infrastructure for CT9
With expectation of high land container traffic from CT9, new road infrastructure is being built on the Tsing Yi Island. Tsing Yi Road, a road connecting from Tsing Yi Bridge to South Tsing Yi Island, is re-routed to the new road along the CT9. Stonecutter's Bridge is being built between CT9 and Container Terminal 8 (CT8) of Stonecutters Island, across the Rambler Channel. Nam Wan Tunnel is being built, from CT9 to Tsing Ma Bridge and Ting Kau Bridge. The new road infrastructure forms a net across the container port and connect to major highways in Hong Kong.
Collapse of containers 2005
On 9 May 2005 at noon, heavy rain storms during the day caused stacks of containers to collapse in CT9. 20 containers fell on two trucks in a wind of 135 km/h and one of the drivers was found dead. High stacking of containers, some as high as eight levels, is not uncommon in Hong Kong; this aroused concern regarding safety and methods of stacking containers.