District Cooling System at Kai Tak Development > Introduction

The Kai Tak Development (KTD) is a huge development project spanning a total area of over 320 hectares covering the ex-airport and nearby areas with large demand for air-conditioning. The HKSAR Government takes the opportunity to implement the District Cooling System (DCS) which is the most energy efficient air-conditioning system in the new development.


Project Details

District Cooling System at Kai Tak Development > Project Details

The DCS at KTD is a large scale centralized air-conditioning system. It utilizes sea water to produce chilled water at the central plants and distributes the chilled water to consumer buildings in the KTD through underground water piping network.

The DCS at KTD comprises two central chiller plants, namely the North Plant and the South Plant cum seawater pump house, underground chilled water distribution piping network, seawater supply and discharge pipes and consumer substations located in the buildings to interface with the building’s own chilled water circulation systems.

District Cooling System at Kai Tak Development > Project Details

The cooling capacity of the DCS is about 284 megawatt of refrigeration (MWr) for serving the non-domestic air-conditioned floor area of about 1.73 million m2, equivalent to a cooling supply for 40 nos. of 30-storey high commercial buildings. Upon completion of the project, about 40 kilometres of underground chilled water pipes would have been laid and there would be around 50 buildings in KTD connected to the DCS.



The project would be implemented in 3 phases. The construction works were commenced in 2011. Phase I and Phase II including the construction of two plant rooms, seawater pump room and laying of partial seawater pipes and chilled water pipes were completed in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The operation of the DCS was commenced in 2013 for the provision of district cooling services to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, Ching Long Shopping Centre in the public rental housing, the Trade and Industry Tower, two schools, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department Headquarters, Hong Kong Children's Hospital, Kai Tak Station and Sung Wong Toi Station, Shatin to Cental Link. The construction of Phase III (Package A) commenced in July 2013 and completed in end 2017. The construction works of Phase III (Package B) and Phase III (Package C) were commenced in September 2015 and September 2016 respectively and are expected to be completed by end 2019 and early 2020 respectively. The remaining works under Phase III would be commenced in the first quarter of 2019 for completion by end 2025.


DCS consumes 35 percent and 20 percent less electricity as compared to traditional air-cooled air-conditioning systems and individual water-cooled air-conditioning systems using cooling towers respectively. With its high energy efficiency, the implementation of DCS at KTD will achieve estimated annual saving of 85 million kilowatt-hour (kWh) in electricity consumption, with a corresponding reduction of 59,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum..

Apart from energy saving, DCS would also bring along the following benefits to the consumers:

  1. Reduction in upfront capital cost for installing chiller plants at their buildings which account for about 5-10% of the total building cost;
  2. More flexible building designs for consumer buildings as they do not need to install their own chillers and the associated electrical equipment in their buildings;
  3. Mitigation of heat island effects in KTD and elimination of noise and vibration arising from the operation of heat rejection equipment and chillers of air-conditioning plants in buildings as such equipment will no longer be necessary for buildings subscribing to district cooling services; and
  4. More adaptable air-conditioning system to the varying demand as compared to individual air-conditioning systems. For each individual building, cooling capacity can be increased by requesting additional cooling capacity from the DCS without carrying out extensive modification works for the building in question.