By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The Macau Ecological Society and CEM will work in collaboration to establish Macau’s first ever large-scale rainwater collection and wastewater recycling and reuse program at the Coloane power plant.
The two sides will sign the cooperation pact on April 1 on the sidelines of the 2011 Macau International Environmental Co-operation Forum and Exhibition (MIECF) at The Venetian Macao.
Chairman of the Ecological Society, Ho Wai Tim, told the Macau Daily Times after a press conference yesterday that the project will be implemented in two stages.
He said the first phase will see rainwater collected from the hills surrounding the Coloane power plant and then used for green irrigation and washing the floors, and the second phase – which requires “more complicated technology” – will see sewage discharged by the Factory B at the power plant recycled and used to cool the heat of the power generators.
At present CEM uses sea water and fresh water to cool down the generators. Ho said the initiatives will be of great significance especially during the annual salinity period in Macau’s water supply system.
Also, it is estimated that up to 160,000 cubic metres of rainwater will be used every year and the power plant could save 60 percent of its water consumption.
The environmentalist said the Ecological Society has already submitted the design proposal to CEM, which is responsible to implement and operate the program at the Coloane site.
Manager of CEM Communications and Public Affairs Office, Iun Iok Meng, however, told the MDTimes the project is still in the “preliminary stage” and the company did not yet have any idea of when the water reuse initiatives could be put into action.
“After signing the agreement, CEM will study the effectiveness report handed in by the Ecological Society, try to seek support from the Government and also need to open a public tender before the program can be implemented,” Iun said.
Meanwhile, the Ecological Society and CTM have jointly held an inter-school recycling bin design competition recently.
Ho told the MDTimes that his organisation has been in talks with the telecom operator about putting collection boxes of scrap cell phone batteries at its retail shops, and an environmental enterprise from Macau has already agreed to be responsible for the recycling work at the Ilha Verde cross-border industrial zone.
He added that the Environmental Protection Bureau will be invited to lead the promotional campaign in the city and it is hoped that the project can be in the future expanded to more locations and even include all kinds of household and commercial batteries.
However, CTM corporate communications general manager Eliza Chan told the MDTimes yesterday the company did not go into much detail about this cooperation with the Ecological Society, adding that it hasn’t yet decided how to make use of the winning design entries of the contest.
The Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) has also joined with the Ecological Society to launch a “green consumption” credit card. The bank will donate 0.25 percent of each transaction using this card both in and outside of the territory to the Macau Green Fund which is jointly managed by the two sides to support local environmental activities.