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The Structural Engineer, Volume 71, Issue 11, 1993
Born in Tianjin, a major commercial city in north China, CHENG Hon-kwan - known to his colleagues and friends as ‘H.K.’ - spent his early years in Beijing and Tianjin. He received his secondary education at the Tientsin Anglo-Chinese College, founded by the London Missionary Society, where one of the teachers then was the Rev. Eric Liddell, the well-known Scottish Gold Medallist of the 1924 Olympics. Mr Cheng undertook his civil engineering training at Tianjin University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1948.
Following the international oil crisis in the 1970s, Hong Kong's two electricity generating companies built large coal-fired stations which now produce about 1Mt of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) p.a. In common with most other countries the disposal of this ash presents problems, exacerbated in Hong Kong by its small land and sea areas and strict environmental controls. The opportunity to help overcome this problem - and, at the same time, improve the quality - of structural concrete by using classified ash as a partial cement replacement - was recognised in the early 1980s. In 1982 the first local classification plant, at the Hong Kong Electric Co. Ltd's station at Lamma Island, was commissioned. Some of the ash from China Light & Power Co. Ltd's plant at Tap Shek Kok is now classified, and some is used as a raw material for the production of OPC to BS12 in the nearby China Cement Co. (HK) Ltd works and in the production of 15% and 25% PPFAC blends. R.H. Pilling
Naturally available land suitable for development is in very short supply in Hong Kong. To meet the considerable demand, new land has to be created by reclamation. This process has been ongoing since the Territory became a British Colony in 1843, and the resulting land is used both for public needs and for sale to private developers. Major parcels of land are sold at public auctions and it was at one such auction, on 28 January 1989, that the site for Central Plaza was acquired (Fig 1). The purchasers were two major developers - Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd and Sino Land Co. Ltd - who had agreed to form a consortium to jointly develop the site only during the auction. They paid a Hong Kong record price of US$61 OOO/m2 for the 7000 m² site, making the total price US$430M. Daily interest charges of US$120 OOO provided a major incentive to complete the development as quickly as possible. Shortly after the auction took place, a third developer - Ryoden Property Development Co. Ltd - joined the consortium. The land cost alone represented approximately three-quarters of the final total development cost, this apportionment of development cost not being abnormal in Hong Kong. P.G. Ayres and J.M. MacArthur