The Green Island Cement Company – “A happy example of Anglo Chinese cooperation”

IDJ has kindly sent the following newspaper article.

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

Thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped version of the original article.


In this Empire Supplement, designed primarily to bring to the notice of British people in Hong Kong the campaign to Buy and Sell British goods that is being waged by the Empire Marketing Board and other agencies, and supported by the Prince of Wales, as will be seen by turning to his speech at the inauguration of the Empire Marketing Board campaign appearing on another page – it is good also to recall that Hong Kong itself exists and has its being solely as a result of the close co-operation of two of the greatest trading nations in the World today, the Chinese and the British.

Green Island Cement Works c1904 Source: Unknown

From the very earliest days of the foundation of this Colony, now 90 years ago, the people of the two nations have always found in each other something that makes an immediate appeal, and that renders it pleasant to do business with each other.

As in South America the expression parola d’Inglesa stands as a sure acceptance of a bargain, without further formality, so in the past the word of a Chinese is his bond has passed current and been accepted.

Green Island Cement Company C1900 A

Green Island Cement Company c1904 Source: Unknown

So much the two people have in common, and on such a foundation how much can be built up!

It is over 30 years ago since there came into existence a Company destined to become a household name all through the Far East.

This Company is the Green Island Cement, which commenced operation in a small way on Green Island, near Macao, from which it took its name.

In those days its machinery consisted of vertical kilns and it was capitalised at a small figure, all of which was raised in Hong Kong from both British and Chinese subscribers. From these small beginnings grew this great Anglo-Chinese Company, which today is supplying cement for practically all the building operations of importance in China and Malaya.

The technical history of the Green Island Cement is one long record of progress, not only in its output of cement, but also in the way that the Company has always taken immediate advantage of all the latest improvements in machinery that have been brought out in different parts of the World.

The latest example of the progressive management of the Green Island Cement is shown by the installation only last year of a complete new wet process plant. The entire machinery for this new process is British and was supplied and installed by that well known firm, Messrs. Vickers-Armstrong Ltd., of Barrow-in-Furness.

Before this new plant was installed, such was the demand for Green Island Cement from all parts of the Far East, that though the plant was kept working continuously, supply could never catch up with demand.

Cement Kilns Of Green Island Cement In Hong Kong C1908

Cement kilns of Green Island Cement c1908 Courtesy: Wikiwand

Even now, with the new plant in full operation, the old plant has still to keep going and it contributes about 50,000 tons of cement per annum to the total output.

If to the 50,000 tons of cement produced annually by the old plant, is added the 100,000 tons of cement that the new plant produces, it is easy to realise what an important industry has been built up first in Macao and now in Hong Kong by this pioneer amongst Anglo-Chinese Companies.

Hitherto, the talk has been of quantity. Turn now to the even more important standard of quality and what do we find?

It is a well known fact the the British Standard Specifications of Cement has always been the strictest and most rigid specifications of any country in the world. In spite of that, so high has the Green Island Cement aimed that always, from its early days, its cement has always been a little bit better than the specification required. Even though last year a new Standard Specification was issued with far more rigid requirements than those previously insisted on, the Green Island Cement found that the cement produced complied with these latest requirements with greatest ease.

Such is a brief outline of a Hong Kong Company, which perhaps more than most has helped to build true and firm the foundation of Hong Kong’s reputation as a manufacturing centre, where the flower of Anglo-Chinese cooperation can produce the greatest benefits.

Aerial View Of Green Island Cement Company 1969

Aerial view of the Green Island Cement Company, 1969 showing the aerial ropeway. Courtesy: submitted by Klaus

Source: Hong Kong Sunday Herald 22nd May 1932.

This article was first posted on 30th November 2022.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. The Green Island Cement Company and the growth of the cement industry in Hong Kong, 1932
  2. Green Island Cement Company – stunning photos
  3. The Green Island Cement Company – Conflagration – March 1906
  4. Green Island Cement – manager late 1920s to 1949 indentified + photos of earlier manager’s house?
  5. Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 1 -1930s
  6. Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 2 – late 1940s
  7. Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 3 – Exterior – human scarecrows, brandy and hens…
  8. Green Island Cement Company – aerial ropeway
  9. Green Island Cement Company during World War Two
  10. Noel Croucher – philanthropist and director of Green Island Cement and Hong Kong and China Gas



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