Proposed site for Fertiliser Plant, Gin Drinkers’ Bay, 1949

IDJ has sent the following newspaper article about a proposed fertilizer factory in 1949 near Gin Drinkers’ Bay, also known as Lap Sap Wan in Kwai Chung, Hong Kong. The bay was reclaimed in the 1960s and became Kwai Fong and part of Kwai Hing.

HF: I have retyped the article to assist clarity and to aid searches.

Thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped version.

If anyone can send in additional information about and/or an image of the proposed fertilizer factory, if built, I would be delighted to add these to our article.

Proposed Site For Fertilizer Plant HK Sunday Herald 3rd April 1949 From IDJ

This is the long-term policy of the authorities concerned. The sort-term policy is to double the present output of fertiliser by setting up more night soil maturing tanks at Castle Peak.

At present there is a battery of five tanks, each capable of holding 120 tons. An additional tank has been erected this year.

It is planned to add four more tanks to complete the second battery and thus double the original capacity.

The “Sunday Herald” was informed that experiments in converting combined night soil and refuse-garbage into fertiliser are being carried out at Kam Tin by the Agriculture authorities.

Gin Drinker's Bay 1960s, Proposed Site Of Fertilizer Plant ,

A rather murky image of shipbreaking at Gin Drinker’s Bay in the 1960s Courtesy: Gwulo.com

The Colony’s long term policy is based on a necessarily loose assumption that although the local output of night soil – at present 150 tons a day – will be required for the needs of the New Territories, not all of the present daily output of some 500 tons of refuse-garbage will be required to be combined with it for conversion into fertiliser.

It was officially added it is taken for granted that major planning depends largely on expert advice on this aspect and on questions such as what part of the normal refuse-garbage product should be separated before the main bulk is combined with night soil.

In an interview with the “Sunday Herald” yesterday, Mr. J. Burrow, District Commissioner of the New Territories, said that it is now taken for granted that a site of possibly not less than 20 acres should be reserved for the proposed fertiliser factory and ancillary buildings.

Near Harbour

It is also assumed, he said, that the site should not be too far from the harbour so that heavily laden barges should be able to come alongside it at low tide. There should also be reasonably good shelter from the seas swept by typhoon winds and a good road communication from it.

It is proposed that the product of the factory should be sold to farmers at the lowest possible price compatible with a reasonable return on capital outlay and current costs.

One unofficial estimate placed the cost of a modern fertiliser factory suitable for Hong Kong at HK$1,000,000.

It is understood that the proposed fertiliser factory will be financed by the Colonial Welfare and Development Fund.

A further long term policy of the Government envisages the substitution of water borne sewage system (flush) for the present bucket system on the Island and in Kowloon. This will also involve a factory to produce fertiliser from presumably a sewage farm.

An expert on fertiliser conversion plants is expected in Hong Kong to advise the authorities concerned on the subject.

Source: The Hong Kong Sunday Herald 3rd April 1949.

This article was first posted on 21st June 2022.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. The Organic Fertilizer Company Ltd, West Point, Newspaper article 1936
  2. Night Soil and Refuse and Night Soil disposal question, newspaper article 1939
  3. Night soil collection in Hong Kong – updated – four current locations, July 2016
  4. Night soil collection in Hong Kong – honey buckets…information needed
  5. 52 Stink Boats – used in the removal of nightsoil from Hong Kong island in the 1960s and 70s
  6. Gin Drinkers Bay – ship breaking early 1960s

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