Tai O Union Electric Company – bought by CLP in 1955

IDJ and Hugh Farmer have been trying to find out about a power company that is supposed to have existed in Tai O on Lantau Island.

China Light and Power’s website says that in 1955 the company acquired the Tai O Power Company “which supplies power to Lantau Island”.

IDJ  says “I’ve not heard of the Tai O Power Company and it’s not mentioned in any of my 1950s government yearbooks. It could have been another communal project similar to  that at Cheung Chau, primarily supplying power to an ice factory for the fishing fleet.”

The trail seemed to have gone cold but then this turned up from a China Light & Power website linked below:

Tai O Union Power Company 1Tai O Union Power Company 2


Tai O CLP accounts office 1955 Courtesy CLP

Courtesy CLP

So we have a new name, Tai O Union Electric Company.

More information, location, dates and images of the plant would be great.

See:  CLP’s website about the history of supplying electricity to Tai O and Lantau generally, and other islands.

This article was first posted on 22nd August 2014.

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  6. Salt production, oldest industry in Hong Kong, Tai O
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One comment

  • Mike T.

    According to Hong Kong Heritage’s Did You Know document:

    “Tai O Union Electric Company, which powered Tai O, was initially set up to supply electricity to movie theatres in the neighbourhood. The company was taken over by China Light in 1955.”

    From the Chinese-language version of the same document, the Chinese name was “大澳合眾電力公司”. Googling that brings up 513 hits, but most of them seem to simply be repetitions of the same info we already know — when CLP took them over.

    (Both of these are available as an XML file used to provide text for a Flash-based site, so will look a bit weird in a browser and can’t be linked to directly in the live site, but https://www.hongkongheritage.org/html/eng/xml/didyouknow.xml is the URL to see the text quoted above in English, and https://www.hongkongheritage.org/html/chi/xml/didyouknow.xml in Chinese.)

    This url (http://www.hk-place.com/viewtext.php?id=259) has slightly more info, and says (via Google translation): “Peninsula Power Generation Company was founded in 1964, CLP and American Standard Oil (Esso or that late now ExxonMobil) funded Hok power plants are responsible for the expansion of power plants and the construction of Tsing Yi.

    Kowloon generation company founded in 1978, is also funded by the CLP and Esso, are responsible for the construction of power plants and the expansion of Hok Castle Peak Power Station A plant.

    Castle Peak Power Company was founded in 1981, is funded by the CLP and Esso, namely the construction of the Castle Peak Power Station B plants, power plants and Penny’s Bay BPPS.

    In addition to the HEC and CLP, the Hong Kong also has two small power companies: Big O Triangle Power Company and Cheung Chau power company. Initially Tai O and Cheung Chau is powered by two companies. In 1955 and 1982, CLP has acquired two companies, from Lantau and Cheung Chau also increased throughout the electricity supply of electricity.”

    Ming Pao seems to have an article here with more info, but you have to be a subscriber to see the whole thing:


    They have an image they say is cash registers being transported to Tai O in 1960 by CLP to use when local residents are paying their power bill, though:


    And Apple Daily have something which (poorly machine translated) says as follows:

    “Early in the Second World War, Tai O Triangle electricity supply companies have started in the area of ​​power, but power is very small, the restaurant was powered only during the day, the evening before the residents of electricity, the company in 1955 China Light and Power was acquired. Then take the barge shacks residents own the wires to take power, but because of the wires and young, a meter boxes need to supply dozens of households, frequent power outages. Tai O Rural Committee Vice Chairman Liu Cheuk Wing laughs, powered past when it comes to the big O. saying goes: “(lamp) have There Well “Every time a power outage in the past have lasted at least seven or eight hours, even up to one or two days, the restaurant is no electricity, refrigerators food so bad, not only on the loss of property, also hit the tourism industry.”


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