Concrete Curing Agent Key In Airport Development

Chemcure at airport


Design Consortium:  Mott Connell, Foster Associates and BAA

Other key players in design: Ove Arup, WT Partnership and O'Brien Kreitsberg

Contractor Consortium: BCJ JV (British Chinese Japanese; Kumagai Gumi, China State/Amec,Balfour Beatty, Maeda Corp led by UK contractors AMEC and Balfour Beatty)

Matieral Supplied:  Nufins CHEMCURE R90 Aluminised Spray-Applied Concrete Curing Membrane

Chemcure at airport

Why a new airport was required           

The spectacular final approach to Kai Tak Airport in Kowloon was famous; there were 6 storey buildings at the northern end of the single runway and the other three sides were surrounded by Victoria Harbour, leaving no room to increase passenger or cargo business. Hong Kong had been a British colony since the 19th Century Opium Wars. The territory would be returned to People's Republic of China on 30th June 1997 after a 99 year lease. The project commenced in September 1991.

The biggest civil engineering project in history

Engineers had to build a whole new island for the airport, along with 34km of tunnels, bridges and roadways to connect it to the mainland. Hong Kong International Airport was actually two mountainous islands when the construction began; the mountains were pulverised and flattened and the rock was recycled to fill 1.5 miles of sea to connect Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau.  The project was one of the largest earth-moving and dredging operations ever undertaken in such a short time. About 347million m3 of material was moved during the contract; about 40,000m3 of rock, soil, mud and marine sand was moved every day - 280m3 every minute, or 10 tons a second!

1) A new tunnel under Victoria Harbour; concrete and steel sections, each weighing 32,000 tonnes (the weight of an ocean liner), were built 15km away from site and then floated out to the harbour and assembled underwater; while being laid they were capped with water tight seals. This 2km tunnel carries a 6 lane highway, 15m under the seabed.

2) The "Tsing Ma Bridge; one major 5km water crossing was too deep and too risky for another tunnel. Instead a massive bridge was built with 700 feet high towers to accommodate cargo ships and liners. It was built in 5 years to withstand 200mph destructive typhoon winds and became the world's largest road/rail Double Decker Suspension bridge.

3) Connecting the new tunnel and bridge; the 15km 'Que Chuing Expressway' was built to connect the tunnel with the bridge and the 12km 'North Lantau Tower Expressway' connected the bridge from airport. This involved some extreme civil engineering, by land-formation extending 1km from the shore.

4) Subway railway to airport; designed for the rapid movement of millions of passengers, 20 hectares of land-formation were created in Victoria Harbour to accommodate the new railway station.

5) The world's largest passenger terminal; construction was started just two years before the cmpletion date of project. It was to become he largest enclosed space in the world and the 'crown jewel' of the entire poject, with 70 moving walkways (some 2.5km), a pilotless electric train, 150 shops and a 1100-room hotel.

6) The fully automated air cargo terminal was designed to handle the huge quantity of containers.

The USD$20 billion airport opened on time on 6 July 1998 and covers 12.48km² of reclaimed land which increased the land area of Hong Kong by 1%.

A two-meter-thick finishing layer of crushed granite aggregate and sea sand was spread over the island's surface. A special geotechnical fabric (7 million m2 of it), separates this 2m drainage layer from the much coarser land fill substratum. A 13km long seawall surrounds the levelled airport island, some 3 - 5m above sea-level. Great blocks of granite weighing 1 - 5 tons each forms the protective seawall; they were blasted out of the island's rock to specification, and fashioned to interlock tightly in order to dissipate the wave action of the sea.

Additional Information

For two years, great detonations shook Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau islands daily between 11.30am and 6pm. The shot-holes drilled by the mining engineers have a total length of 2,700km using 40,000 tons of explosive.  

Additional landfill was obtained from the approach roads under construction and by levelling a couple of nearby islands - The Brothers - and since these two islands were in direct line of approach to the runways, they became flight-radar stations.

The workforce of around 21,000 came from 30 countries.

Contact Us



For more information on USL Group products and services call...


Call: +44 (0) 191 416 1530

Copyright © Universal Sealants UK Ltd 2017.
Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions

To ensure we offer the best experience possible, this site uses cookies. By continuing to navigate our website, you consent to cookies being used. To learn more and find out how you can disable cookies, visit our Privacy Policy.