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24Feb94 HONG KONG: FIRMS GET THE CALL TO SEWAGE JOBS IN HK.

By CN Special Correspondent.Firms are being invited to prequalify by the end of March for two of the biggest contracts on the HK$6.8 billion (£591 million) first stage of Hong Kong's strategic sewage disposal scheme.The jobs entail construction of a network of deep tunnels to transfer sewage from Chai Wan and Tseung Kwan O in the east of Hong Kong to a treatment plant at Stonecutters Island in the west.One contract, worth HK$380 million (£33 million), covers the 11 km section from Chai Wan and Tseung Kwan O to Kwun Tong, while the other project, worth HK$498 million (£43 million), runs the 13 km from Kwun Tong to Stonecutters Island. A small spur also runs from the port and industrial area at Kwai Chung to Stonecutters Island.The invitation is being organised by Montgomery Watson in Hong Kong on behalf of the government's drainage services department (DSD).Contractors will be given the option of submitting a combined bid for both contracts when tenders are issued in August.DSD hopes to use only one 7 m dia tunnel boring machine on the project so that firms can benefit from the optimum tunnelling costs TBMs provide.To get the required tunnel diameter of 3 m, the contractor is expected to use enormous amounts of tunnel lining to reduce the diameter from 7 m.David Hall, senior officer at the environmental protection department, said it was cheaper to build the tunnel all in one width and then go back and line the tunnel to the required diameter than it was to use other techniques. The only section that will be built by the drill and blast method is the 1 km section between Kwai Chung and Stonecutters Island.The tunnel's contracts are two of six construction packages to come out for prequalification in the next month. Others include competitions for the sludge collection and treatment facilities and mechanical and electrical equipment at Stonecutters Island.The first stage has been split into 15 contracts to allow the project to be fast-tracked. CONSTRUCTION NEWS