Information Paper for Legislative Council Panel on Planning, Lands and Works Meeting on 15 April 1999
31GK - Construction of a Combined Maintenance Depot in Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long

Introduction

This paper informs Members of the proposal of constructing a permanent combined maintenance depot for Water Supplies Department (WSD), Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), Drainage Services Department (DSD), Architectural Services Department (Arch SD) and Highways Department (HyD) on a vacant site in Tin Tan Street, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long. The estimated capital project cost is about $770 million (in December 1998 prices). We intend to submit the item to the Public Works Subcommittee in May 1999 for funding approval for partial upgrading of 31GK to Category A for pre-contract consultancy services including design and contract document preparation, at an estimated cost of $43 million (in December 1998 prices).

Background

2. Through its various Works Departments the Government is responsible for ensuring (a) adequate and timely maintenance of its various infrastructural facilities, and (b) effective and efficient capabilities to handle emergency repairs. To ensure that these capabilities remain in the control of the various Works Departments at all times, it is necessary for the Government to provide these strategic workshop and storage areas through the setting up of depots in various regions. To minimise the overall resource commitment the most competitive means of procurement is via the deployment of term contracts. In this respect, the necessary workshop and storage areas provided by the Government to the term contractors are reflected in the tenders received for these contracts.

Proposal

3. A site search has been carried out to identify suitable sites of sufficient area to satisfy the functional requirements of the depots serving the western and northwestern New Territories. Great effort has been made to find compatible joint users who can fully optimize such sites, locations and time frame. A suitable site of 12,000 sq.m. in Tin Tan Street, Tin Shui Wai has been identified for a combined maintenance depot. We propose to relocate various maintenance depots for WSD, EMSD, DSD, Arch SD and HyD, serving the western and northwestern areas of the New Territories, and house them under one roof so as to improving operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The requirements of the various Departments are described below:

a) For WSD

The Mainland North West, Mainland North East and Mainland South West Regional Offices are currently housed in a combined depot in Argyle Street, Mongkok. In recognition of the value of this prime urban site and its under utilisation, the Government decided in November 1993 that the existing offices and depots on this site be reprovisioned as soon as possible to allow release for early redevelopment.

The proposed combined depot in Tin Shui Wai will facilitate reprovisioning of the WSD Mainland North West Regional Office and depot on this site with offices, workshops, storage areas and parking space at a net floor area of 5,470 sq.m..

The depot of the WSD maintenance term contractor for Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai areas is presently located in Fung Yau Street, Yuen Long in a temporary Government site. The proposed combined depot will also provide permanent offices, workshops, storage areas and parking space for the contractor, with a total net floor area of 6,540 sq.m..

(b) For EMSD

With the implementation of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund on 1 August 1996, EMSD undertook a major reorganisation and regionalisation exercise and developed a strategy of providing a number of smaller satellite depots in the New Territories to reduce travelling time.

The existing vehicle workshop servicing vehicles for Kowloon and the New Territories is located in the Sung Wong Toi Depot, To Kwa Wan. To improve efficiency and to assist in the eventual release of this site for redevelopment, we propose to provide a new workshop with a net area requirement of 2,960 sq.m. in Tin Shui Wai.

An electrical and mechanical workshop of 1,760 sq.m. will also be provided for the Transport, Security and Central Services Division, General Engineering Services Division and Supplies Sub-division. The existing leased premises at the Hang Wai Industrial Centre in Tuen Mun will be released.

(c) For DSD

All of the Direct Labour Force (DLF) of the Mainland North Division of DSD is currently accommodated in leased accommodation in Tai Kok Tsui. Those groups in the DLF which handle complaints and undertake clearance operations in the northern and western areas of the New Territories spend, on average, over two hours travelling each day. We propose to set up permanent maintenance facilities in Tin Shui Wai for part of the Mainland North Division's DLF, so as to facilitate preventive maintenance works and to shorten travelling time during operations in the area.

DSD maintenance term contractor and the maintenance staff of the Yuen Long District are presently housed in a temporary Government site in Ma Tin Road, Yuen Long, allocated on a two-year basis. The repeated processes of site request/search/selection/allocation and setting up new depots in temporarily allocated sites are inefficient and expensive. We consider it necessary to provide permanent maintenance facilities in Tin Shui Wai for maintenance staff and contractors to ensure the continuous provision of prompt maintenance services in a cost-effective way.

A permanent sub-depot of a net area of about 350 sq.m. with offices, workshops, storage areas and parking space will be provided.

(d) For Arch SD

The Property Services Branch of Arch SD has its main depot at Hung Hom. A temporary building in the grounds of the Castle Peak Hospital serves as a small sub-depot for the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun Districts, which will need to be surrendered for the future expansion of the Castle Peak Hospital.

To provide a permanent maintenance depot to service more efficiently the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun Districts, offices, workshops, storage areas and parking space with a net floor area of 930 sq.m. will be provided for Arch SD maintenance staff and the maintenance term contractor.

(e) For HyD

HyD maintenance staff and the maintenance term contractors for the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun Districts are currently based in temporary depots in Government sites in Hong Yip Street and Tsing Lun Road respectively. The allocation of both sites will expire in September 1999. Until a permanent depot is available, HyD will request for the renewal of the temporary allocation in Hong Yip Street. As the site in Tsing Lun Road will be required for the West Rail project, a replacement depot site in Tuen Mun will be allocated to HyD temporarily. The installation, operation and maintenance of the public lighting system in Kowloon and the New Territories will be undertaken by the management-operation-maintenance contractor from October 1999. The contractor will have to rent the site for its operation at Government cost until a permanent depot is available. To provide accommodation for HyD staff to administer and supervise these contracts and to enable the contractors to centralize their resources, offices, workshops, storage areas and parking space with a net floor area of about 9,930 sq.m. will be provided.

4. The proposed combined depot site will be subject to a height restriction of 50 metres. As a result, the combined depot will be a seven-storey building with an estimated total gross floor area of about 54,000 sq.m..

Implementation Plan

5. Subject to funding approval for the partial upgrading of 31GK to Category A in June 1999, outline sketch, detailed design and contract documentation will commence in September 1999. Detailed design of the project is expected to be completed in August 2000. With the full upgrading of the project to Category A in late 2000, construction works will commence on site in April 2001 with completion in March 2003.

Works Bureau
April 1999

Information Paper for Legislative Council
Panel on Planning, Lands and Works
Supplementary Notes for
31GK - Construction of a Combined Maintenance Depot
in Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long

Introduction

At the meeting on 15 April 1999, we briefed Members about the proposal of constructing a multi-purpose building at a vacant site in Tin Tan Street, Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long. The building will accommodate a WSD Regional Office, as well as permanent combined maintenance depot for Water Supplies Department (WSD), Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), Drainage Services Department (DSD), Architectural Services Department (Arch SD) and Highways Department (HyD). This paper provides supplementary background for the proposed project for Members* information.

General Strategy

2. The Government has reserved a site at Tin Shui Wai to relocate one of the WSD Regional Offces presently occupying the existing offices and depots at Argyle Street. As we wish to take full use of the required site, opportunity is taken to also accommodate or reprovision the maintenance depots of various Works Departments so as to release sites presently occupied by them and thus facilitate development to realise their development potential.

3. Through its various Works Departments, the Government is responsible for ensuring (a) adequate and timely maintenance of its various infrastructural facilities, and (b) effective and efficient capabilities to handle emergency repairs. To achieve this objective, the Works Departments have to provide for their government maintenance staff and maintenance contractors offices, workshops and storage areas through the setting up of strategic depots in various regions in the territory.

4. At present, many depots for government maintenance staff are located in urban districts. In addition to the urban districts they are serving, some of these depots are also responsible for providing maintenance and emergency services to the various parts of the New Territories. With the rapid development of the New Territories and the considerable population shift from the urban areas to the New Territories in recent decades, there has been a significant increase in demand of government maintenance services in the New Territories. Parts of the government depots have to be relocated to the various regions of the New Territories in order to meet the increasing demand for efficient maintenance services.

5. The Government will also employ term maintenance contractors to provide maintenance services for government and public facilities to minimise the overall resource commitment. We normally provide the contractors temporary government sites for setting up their maintenance depots. The allocation of the sites are on short-term basis until such time as the sites are required for permanent development. Due to the temporary nature of these depots the structures, fencing, paving, etc. are of very low quality resulting in poor sanitary and visual conditions. The repeated process of site request, search, selection, allocation, and setting up new depots in temporarily allocated sites is considered inefficient and costly.

6. The Government plans to set up permanent regional depots for the maintenance staff of the Works Departments and their maintenance term contractors. One depot has been completed and two are currently under construction as listed in Annex A, whilst those under planning are listed in Annex B. Upon completion of these permanent depots, existing premises currently occupied by the relevant government maintenance staff and the term contractors will be released for development. Site search exercises have been carried out to identify suitable permanent sites of sufficient area to satisfy the functional requirements of these regional depots. Compatible joint government users have been identified in order to fully optimize such sites, locations and time frame.

The Combined Maintenance Depot in Tin Shui Wai

Cost Benefits

7. The proposed combined maintenance depot in Tin Shui Wai will include accommodation for the WSD Mainland North West Regional Office, assisting in the eventual release of WSD's existing offices and depots in Argyle Street for redevelopment. Currently, two other WSD Regional Offices (i.e. Mainland North East and Mainland South West) are also housed at this Argyle Street site. The Mainland South West Regional Office will be relocated to the permanent depot at Cheung Sha Wan which is now under construction. The Mainland North East Regional Office will be relocated to another proposed permanent depot at Sha Tin which is now under planning. The estimated land value for the Argyle Street site is $930 million for commercial use.

8. The proposed combined maintenance depot in Tin Shui Wai will also facilitate the release of the existing EMSD*s workshop at Hang Wai Industrial Centre in Tuen Mun and the DSD*s office for the Direct Labour Force at HYFCO Industrial Building in Tai Kok Tsui, for which the total rental cost is about $440,000 per year.

9. The proposed combined depot will also enable EMSD to release part of their existing depot in Sung Wong Toi. The rest of the depot at the Sung Wong Toi site will be reprovisioned in the new EMSD depot in Kowloon Bay. The whole Sung Wong Toi site will then be surrendered to the government for redevelopment. The estimated land value for the Sung Wong Toi site is $2,900 million for commercial use.

10. The provision of permanent depots in Tin Shui Wai for the maintenance contractors of WSD, DSD and HyD will release their temporary depot sites currently located in various government land in Yuen Long and Tuen Mun. The total area of government land to be released for other government and public developments is about 12,500 m2.

11. Notwithstanding the above, the setting up of the proposed combined depot in Tin Shui Wai will reduce the response and travelling time required by government maintenance staff and term maintenance contractors, thus improving the maintenance and emergency services to the western and northwestern areas of the New Territories and also saving cost.

12. Relocation of the regional depots of various Works Departments in the same building will not adversely affect the efficiency of operation. The designated uses of the various depots are compatible, and although they compete for common facilities, such as ground floor loading and parking areas, these problems can be resolved by careful design. On the other hand, all of the regional depots in the building will be in closer proximity to the regional areas they intend to serve, compared with the situation before their relocation, when they are scattered around in other parts of the territories.

Utilisation of Space

13. Based on a preliminary conceptual layout, the efficiency ratio, of the proposed combined depot in Tin Shui Wai will be in the order of 46% which is typical for a multi-storey industrial building which requires vehicular access to all levels. The initial breakdown of the areas is set out below:-

UsesAreas (m2)
i) Net area requirements
    27,940
    Arch SD
930
    DSD
350
    EMSD
4,720
    HyD
9,930
    WSD
12,010
ii) Allowance for building services plant rooms, lifts, egress stairs, toilets, showers
    3,000
iii)Allowance for parking areas6,030
iv) Allowance for vehicular circulation
    22,830
    _________
v) Estimated construction floor area
    59,800
    _________

Environmental Measures

14. Arch SD engaged Consultants to conduct a preliminary environmental review in October 1998 to assess the potential impacts of the proposed depot and identify any mitigation measures required. The anticipated key issues during construction are; noise and dust issues, site run-off and discharge, and waste management. The building contractor will be required to include provision for the recommended mitigation measures and on-site practices to reduce any potential impacts. The key issues during operation relate to potential air quality impacts arising from vehicle emissions and from chemical odours, potential water quality impact from discharges, and chemical waste storage and disposal and these can be overcome by design and management measures, such as:

  1. Air Quality Impact

    The location of the air-intake to the central air conditioning system will be located away from the sources of vehicle omissions and chemical odours. Management measures will be applied to ensure the switching off of engines of stationary vehicles when engaging in loading/unloading activities.

  2. Water Quality

    All cleaning activities involving water and steam will be undertaken adjacent to the western boundary at ground floor level, remote from adjacent users. All discharges shall comply with the discharge standards established under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance.

  3. Chemical Waste Storage and Disposal

    Various chemicals including paints and lubricating oil will be stored at the ground floor level and used at ground and first floor levels. After use these substances and their containers will be disposed of as chemical waste as required under the Waste Disposal (Chemical/Waste) (General) Regulation (Cap. 354).

  4. Building Layout

    The adjoining site immediately to the east of the proposed combined depot will be occupied in the future by a utility substation whilst the site to the immediate north is zoned G/IC for which an end-user has yet to be identified. The primary school and the residential development to the south is separated by a 30 metre wide amenity strip. The building layout will be designed to ensure the sources of potential impact are positioned in a remote location from the school and the residential development.

Effect on Electrical and Mechanical Trading Fund (EMSTF) Asset Value

15. When EMSTF was established in 1996, it was vested with, among others, the Sung Wong Toi Depot as an asset by LegCo Resolution (Cap. 430 Sub. Leg. G). EMSTF will eventually surrender the whole of Sung Wong Toi depot for redevelopment and relocate the facilities to its depots in Kowloon Bay and the proposed depot in Tin Shui Wai. The reprovisioning will be on a square-meter for square-meter basis, and the combined total floor area of EMSTF workshop at two depots will not be larger than the existing Sung Wong Toi depot. Therefore, the reprovisioning of EMSTF workshop to the proposed new depot in Tin Shui Wai will be done on a cost-neutral basis, and will not affect the asset value of the EMSTF.

Works Bureau
May 1999

Annex A

Permanent Maintenance Depots for Works Departments
Project Completed

PWP No.Project TitleAPE
$mill
Date F.C.
Approval
Lead Dept.FacilitiesCompletion Date
016KA Offices for Arch SD Maintenance Branch at Hung Hom 104 29 Jul 1988 Arch SD
Arch SD
Maintenance Depot
Nov 1990
Project Currently under Construction PWP No. Project Title APE$mill Date F.C. Approval Lead Dept. Facilities Scheduled Completion Date 030GK Maintenance Depot for WSD, Arch SD & DSD at Cheung Sha Wan 312 4 Jun 1997 WSD WSD - Regional DepotArch SD - Maintenance DepotDSD - Direct Labour Force Jun 2000 162GK Maintenance Depot for EMSD, Arch SD & HyD at Siu Ho Wan, Lantau 330 12 Dec 1997 EMSD EMSD - Vehicular Maintenance WorkshopArch SD - Maintenance DepotHyD - Maintenance DepotRO - Meteorological Facility Jul 2000 Annex B Project Under Planning Item No. Project Title CPE$mill (Dec 98) Date F.C. Approval Lead Dept. Facilities Completion Date 031GK Combined Maintenance Depot at Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long 772 Jun 1999 WSD Arch SD - Maintenance DepotEMSD - Vehicular WorkshopEMSD - E&M WorkshopDSD - Direct Labour ForceDSD - Maintenance DepotHyD - Maintenance DepotWSD - Regional DepotWSD - Maintenance Depot Mar 2003* 032GK Regional Depot for WSD in Mainland North East, Sha Tin 587 Oct 1999 WSD Arch SD - Maintenance DepotEMSD - Electronics WorkshopHyD - Maintenance DepotGRS - Records StorageWSD - Maintenance DepotWSD - Regional Depot Sep 2003* 170GK Maintenance Depot for DSD & WSD at Siu Ho Wan, Lantau 331 May 1999 DSD DSD - Maintenance DepotWSD - Maintenance Depot Sep 2001* * Subject to F.C. approval on date shown. Annex B Project Under Planning Item No. Project Title CPE$mill (Dec 98) Date F.C. Approval Lead Dept. Facilities Completion Date 173GK Maintenance Depot & Customs Vehicle Detention Centre, Area 30A, Sheung Shui 770 Nov 1999 FSD Arch SD - Maintenance DepotDSD - Maintenance DepotEMSD - Elect. WorkshopFSD - Vehicle WorkshopC&ED - Vehicle StorageHyD - Maintenance Depot Mar 2004* 62GI Joint Departmental Depot in Chai Wan 3,942 Jun 1999 EMSD EMSD - Workshops, Offices for HQ & HQICAS - HK & HKIDSD - Direct Labour Force HK& Division I Maintenance DepotHyD - Maintenance DepotPD - Workshops, Offices StorageFSD - Ambulance DepotWSD - Regional Depot Jun 2004* * Subject to F.C. approval on date shown.