1. Project Description
1.1 Background
1.2 Basic Data

2. Design Considerations
2.1 Hygiene
2.2 Safety
2.3 Operational Efficiency

3. Environmental Management
3.1 Waste Water Treatment
3.2 Indoor Air Quality
3.3 Odour Control and Gas Emission
3.4 Noise Mitigation
3.5 Solid Waste Disposal

4. References


| Created: 25 Feb 2000 | Updated: 7 Feb 2003 | By: Sam C M Hui (cmhui@hku.hk) |

  1.  Project Description

1.1 Background
Hong Kong (HK), a predominantly ethnic Chinese community, is accustomed to the availability of fresh produce. This dietary partiality is also reflected in its preference for "warm" meat, particularly pork, instead of 'chilled' meat as is the norm in other developed countries. To satisfy this tradition demand, live animals imported from China, are slaughtered daily in five existing abattoirs located at Kennedy Town, Cheung Sha Wan, Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long and Cheung Chau. Due to the rapid expansion of HK since these abattoirs were built some decades ago, all except Cheung Chau are now located in Urban areas.


Hence, for both environmental and economic reasons, the Government took a decision in 1995 to urgently reprovision the three main abattoirs in Kennedy Town, Cheung Sha Wan and Yuen Long to the outskirts of Sheung Shui where a modern, centralised facility was to be built by 1999. The site was chosen because of its isolation from built up areas; convenience to rail and road networks for the delivery of animals and distribution of fresh meat; and its adjacent sewage treatment plant which would have capacity to assist in the essential process of waste water treatment.

The intent of the new slaughterhouse is to provide a stable and adequate supply of fresh warm meat to the community whilst ensuring the highest international standards for hygiene and safety, operational efficiency and environmental management. 

Slaughtering processes

In recognition of the operational complexities and environmental risks, a four phase 266 days commissioning period was included in the contract requiring the contractor to work closely with the operator whereby the contractor is still responsible to ensure the complex design performs both systematically and systemically in accord with the stringent performance criteria.
Block plan
Floor plan


1.2 Basic Data
Client: Food & Environmental Hygiene Department
(Previously Regional Services Department)
Type of facilities: Abattoir's & quarantine facilities consisting the following elements:
Lairage block 38,000 m2 3 no. storeys
- Slaughter block 11,800 m2 3 no. storeys
- Meat despatch block 2,200 m2 single storey
- Administration block 2,950 m2 4 storeys
- Platform and railway siding area 2,520 m2 single storey
- Wastewater Treatment Plant (underground) 9,500 m2 x approximate 12 m high
Architect: Architectural Services Department
Consultant architect: Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd
Main contractor: China State Construction & Engineering Corporation
Site features:
  • Site area - 58,600 m2 
  • Allowable plot ratio 1.03 
  • Total building area - 57,800 m2 
  • Site coverage 51%
  • Costs: The Approved Project Estimate for this project is $1.8 billion and the construction cost is about HK$ 100 million.
    No. of storeys: 3
    Daily production: The designed daily production throughput of the Slaughterhouse is: 5,000 pigs, 100 suckling pigs, 400 cattle and 300 goats.
    Works Started: 18/02/1997
    Scheduled completion: Quarter 1, 2000 (The construction period is 864 days and the commissioning period is 266 days)




    2.  Design Considerations

    2.1 Hygiene
    The new slaughterhouse is designed to meet the highest international standards for hygiene, i.e. European Community (EC) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Standard. To achieve this, new provisions have been incorporated as follows:
    • Physical separation between "dirty" and "clean" operations. The staff are required to wash and clean properly before entering to "clean" area.
    • The homogeneous clean area consisting of slaughter hall and meat despatch area, including delivery vans, are fully air-conditioned to avoid contamination from outside.
    • Floor and wall finishes in slaughter hall is seamless construction to avoid the accumulation of dirt. All surfaces are non-adsorptive and can be easily cleaned by using water jet.
    • Facilities to pre-washing pigs is installed prior to scalding.
    • Vertical scalding tank is provided so that the pigs will not be dipped into water for scalding in order to avoid contamination through cuts/wounds on the carcass.
    • Height of conveying belt is design at 2.40m high to meet the EC standard, so that the carcass will not be contaminated by splashing water.

    • Pig Slaughter Hall
    • The offal trays are washed and sterilized automatically after use.
    • Equipment and knife sterilisers and wash hand basins are strategically and conveniently located along the slaughter line to ensure proper cleaning after slaughtering process of each pig/cattle.
    • Hollow knife is used to collect edible blood from cattle to avoid contamination by natural draining.
    • Easily operated pneumatic bung dropper is used to tie and ring anuses to prevent contamination.
    • Chemical treatment is provided for the chilled water system and cooling tower.
    • Hot water cleansing is provided for washing down the slaughter hall after slaughtering.


    2.2 Safety
    To address the safety aspect, which is also a key design consideration, the following principles have been adopted: 

    • Protection covers and facilities are installed to all equipment and plants. Warning signs and signals are displayed at appropriate locations. Adequate rails and barriers are provided to protect the workers.
    • It was recognised that with the introduction of new technology, equipment and procedures it will necessitate substantial change of work culture for the butchers. Hence, an extensive period of training by the manufacturers has been allowed for as part of the contract to provide the necessary training for the operator.
    • As part of the quality assurance system eight batch testing was programmed to allow both the contractor, employer and operator to adjust the equipment, training program and operational procedures before full commissioning commenced.


    2.3 Operational Efficiency
    To maximise operational efficiency and ensure outcome effectiveness, the slaughtering facilities has four semi-automated pig lines, with one complete line as a standby backup; and one cattle line with full back up facilities for critical processes. New facilities include: 

    • On-line dehairing machines for the pig lines which allows pig carcass to be loaded and unloaded automatically.
    • Automatic splitting machine for cattle line which reduces manpower and improves the quality of the splitting.
    • 12 unloading arms in Meat Despatch Area which eliminates manual handling of carcasses.


      Uploading area at Meat Despatch Area
    • Automatic stunning machine for pig lines which eliminates the laborious and inefficient manual stunning operation.
    • Pig offal is dropped onto the offal trays instead of the old design of lifting up the offal to put it onto the offal table. This allows evisceration to spread along the line and eliminates the bottle-neck in the line.
    • An on-line ultrasonic gambrel cleaner which reduces water consumption. It also reduces manpower for collecting, washing and transporting gambrels at the meat dispatch banks.
    • Energy efficient and environmental friendly building services design is adopted. In particular, hot water is one of the main consumable resource in the slaughter operation, estimated at 630 m3 per day year round (equivalent to 8,000 households), solar hot water system is provided comprising 450 solar panels.
    Solar hot water system
    • Heat pump system is installed which allows the provision of cooled air to the Slaughter Hall and Meat Despatch Area on one hand while the rejected heat is used to heat up the water for the hot water system making it an energy efficient design.
    • Auto-occupancy sensors and temperature controllers are provided for air-conditioning control in non-operation areas.
    • Effluent water from Shek Wu Hui Sewage Treatment Plant is used for cooling the condenser of the air-conditioning plant.
    • Energy efficient discharge lighting and fluorescent fittings with electronic low loss ballast are provided. Building management system is used to provide time scheduled lighting control to save electricity consumption.
    • Variable speed motors and fans are provided to meet with different operating conditions in various areas to save energy.
    • Emergency generator power supply is provided to maintain two pig lines and one cattle line in operation during power interruption from Supply Company.
    Chillier and boiler plants:


      3. Environmental Management

    Environmental goals are to ensure full compliance with the latest environmental guidelines and regulations from the EPD for waste water, air, odour, noise and solid waste and achieving energy efficient targets. Environmental impact assessment was carried out in 1995 before the design stage while environmental management system has been incorporated both in the construction phase and in the future operational phase. These aspects will be under continued monitoring and review by both the operator and DSD/EPD. The importance of a systemic approach integrating the environmental intent with often conflicting operational needs was a major challenge facing the team. The more innovative aspects of the design are described below.

    3.1 Waste Water Treatment

    • The slaughter house operations will normally create 5,000 m3 of waste water of which the concentration is approximate 10 times higher than the domestic wastewater levels. The new facilities operation efficiency will minimise the use of water by 20% whilst maintain a higher hygiene standard.
    • The 5,000 m3 waste water generated daily from the slaughtering operation, lairage and unloading yards is pre-treated by an underground waste water treatment plant to achieve the Domestic Effluent Standards before passing to the Shek Wu Hui Sewage Treatment Plant for further treatment.
    • An effective and extensive waste water collection system is provided with separate drainage for storm water. The dirty water generated from washing of unloading yards is directed into the waste water treatment plant while heavy rain water overflows into the storm water drain to prevent overloading of the waste water treatment plant.
    • Different alternative treatment processes have been evaluated. Critical factors under consideration included space limitations and the treatment standards (in particular the Total Nitrogen) to be achieved. The "Floatation Clarifier Activated Sludge" process, the most compact and efficient waste water treatment process, has been selected.
    • An on-line monitoring and logging system will be provided to monitor the discharge continuously to ensure its compliance with the Standards.


    3.2 Indoor Air Quality
    The air within the slaughter and meat despatch facility is controlled to avoid unclean outside air from entering the premises. These include : 

    • High efficiency particulate filters are provided for the fresh air supply to clean areas of the slaughter hall.
    • Ultraviolet light air sterilisation system are provided for the clean area of slaughter hall and meat despatch area.
    • Positive pressure is maintained by air-conditioning system in meat despatch area to avoid ingress of outside air during loading of carcasses to the vehicles.


    3.3 Odour Control and Gas Emission
    The odour generated from the waste water treatment plant, lairage, blood coagulation plant and animal unloading areas of the slaughterhouse is very high, up to 1,000 O.U. To minimise this problem to acceptable levels, the following has been incorporated into the design: 


      Water scrubber to reduce odours
    • Odour sensitive receivers were identified and odour emission computer modelling was carried out to ensure that the odour level at the sensitive receivers complies with the environmental guidelines.
    • Odour removal systems are provided to reduce the odour below nuisance level at the sensitive receivers. These include the provision of chemical scrubbers, the largest in Hong Kong, and the use of odour neutralising agent system.
    • Gas emission from chimney provided for emergency generator and boiler exhaust is designed to comply with the air control standard.
    • Water hose points are provided for floor cleansing of the lairages and external unloading and holding areas to reduce odour.
    • Lorry washing bay is provided for washing the lorries before transporting the livestock to Tsuen Wan Slaughter House.
    • Collection skips and containers for transporting coagulated blood, condemned carcasses and sludge are of enclosed design to minimize odour emission.
    • Chutes are provided for direct dumping of manure into the collection skips to reduce odour.


    3.4 Noise Mitigation
    The operation hours of the slaughter house are mainly from midnight to early morning. The main generators of noise are plant noise, unloading area noise, pig squealing, traffic noise, slaughter operation noise and human activities. And to minimize the nuisance factors to the local residents the following mitigation measures are adopted : 

    • Noise control measures are adopted to meet with statutory requirement for night time in the rural areas at the sensitive receivers. These include acoustic louvres for lairages, acoustic enclosures and silencers for plant, acoustic linings for plant rooms, and enclosed building fabric design with double glazed glass panels for slaughter hall.
    • Perimeter noise barrier walls of 2 to 4m high are erected to reduce noise impact due to train unloading and lorry loading.
    • Off site noise barrier walls of 3m high are erected at Po Wan Road to reduce road traffic noise impact to the Sheung Shui Village as close as 50 meters.
    Livestock Uploading Area
    Acoustic louvres for noise mitigation


    3.5 Solid Waste Disposal
    Solid waste disposal was estimated at 14 tonnes per day. To ensure safe hygienic disposal the following facilities are provided: 

    • Vehicles with close containers will be provided for the disposal of various solid waste.
    • Sludge and coagulated blood are de-watered to meet with 30% solid content requirements before being disposed to designated landfill site.
    • Condemned carcasses and meat are stored in chilled room and put in plastic bags before being disposed to designated landfill site.


    4. References

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