Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/02/2012 -- BMI View: Activity in Hong Kong's construction sector has surprised on the upside, despite the general decline in appetite for residential construction and the weakness of the Chinese economy. The government's plan to provide more land for housing appears to have worked, with real estate transactions and residential building construction activity reaching record highs. Combined with the implementation of several large-scale transport infrastructure projects, construction activity in Hong Kong looks set to be more robust than initially anticipated. As a result, we have significantly revised up our 2012 forecasts, with construction real growth of 7.1% anticipated for 2012 (from a previous forecast of 2.3%).
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Key developments in Hong Kong's infrastructure sector include:
- In June 2012, a joint venture between subsidiaries of France-based construction giant Bouygues Construction and a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, was awarded a US$1.7bn contract to construct the first section of the US$10.7bn Hong Kong-Macau-Guangdong (Zhuhai) bridge. The JV consists of CCCC's China Harbour Engineering Company and Bouygues' subsidiaries, Dragages Hong Kong and VSL. The JV will construct a 9.4km section of the bridge, from the International Airport Island to the boundary of Hong Kong Territory. Construction will begin in mid-2012, with completion scheduled for end-2016.
- In April 2012, Hong Kong formally approved the construction of the 17km, US$8.4bn Shatin to Central Link (SCL). Funding is to be approved before mid-2012, allowing the project to start construction later in the year. The SCL consists of two phases: the first phase, the 11km Tai Wai-Hung Hom section, will be completed by 2018 and the second phase, the 6km Hung Hom-Admiralty section, in 2020. The Hung Hom-Admiralty section will take longer, as this section needs to interface with other infrastructure projects, including the Wan Chai Development Phase II and Central-Wan Chai Bypass. Advance works have already started at the Ho Man Tin station and Admiralty station.
- In March 2012, Hong Kong granted, in principle, approval for the construction of a third runway at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has since filed a profile for the US$11.1bn project and once reviewed, the AAHK can start with an environmental impact assessment study. The pre-construction process is expected to take three years and, subject to the granting of required approvals, the runway could enter construction in 2015 and be completed by 2023.
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