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Daily Archives: February 26, 2008

New tender for Macau-Taipa undersea tunnel

Image   The project proposal for the Macau-Taipa undersea tunnel has been submitted to the central government and is now awaiting approval, and once approved the local government will set a public forum to collect opinions from the public in order to foster the project implementation procedure, said Chan Han Kit, the division head of the Infrastructure Development Office (GDI).

In response to lawmaker Leong Iok Wa's interpellation, Mr Chan said that the SAR government had already included the plan in the Chief Executive's 2005 policy address, which seeked to improve the traffic conditions of the Ponte Govenador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge in order to emulate the transportation between Macau and Taipa.
According to Mr Chan, following the drafting of the planning and preliminary study of the Macau-Taipa Underwater Tunnel, which began in 2006, works were developed consecutively, in April the same year, to launch the international tender and the public opening of bids.
“Since we need the implementation of landfill at entrances and exits planned at the two ends of the underwater tunnel, their regulations require submission to the approval of the venture top of the Central Government,” he said.
In regards to the amendment of the conditions of approval of the Central Government and the standards applied in the process of tendering documented for the contract for the construction of the tunnel, especially with regard to technical criteria for the evaluation of environmental impacts, and considering the interdependence between the work of the tunnel in general and approval of the landfill on these entrances and exits, the administration annulled the tender and will rectify the plan to then launch a new tender in accordance with the criteria for evaluating the environmental impacts established in the country, Mr Chan added.
According to the project, the undersea tunnel should consist of two airtight pipes, each of which should have three lanes, and the length of the tunnel should be 1,700 metres.
The entrance in Taipa is located at  Ponte Govenador  Nobre de Carvalho Bridge and the entrance in Macau is located the area between the  Ponte Govenador  Nobre de Carvalho Bridge and Statute of Kum Iam. 
According to the co-ordinator of the GDI, the construction of the tunnel Underwater Macau-Taipa will optimise the road link between the Macau Peninsula and Taipa, providing the promotion and development of the islands of Taipa and Coloane and improving the provision of urban transit, the same time establishing a transit environment conducive to sustainable development of infrastructure.
Moreover, Mr Chan added that the construction of the tunnel will also allow favourable conditions to unclog the flow of vehicles and relieve the state to use the bridge Governor Nobre of Carvalho, avoiding the appearance of premature wear due to the excessive load of traffic. 

US ready for ‘binding’ reductions of greenhouse gases: official

The United States is ready to accept "binding international obligations" to reduce greenhouse gases, which could be announced as soon as July, a senior White House official said in Paris yesterday.
"The US is prepared to enter into binding international obligations to reduce greenhouse gases as part of a global agreement in which all major economies similarly undertake binding international obligations," said Daniel Price, assistant to President George W. Bush for International Economic Affairs.
The agreement could be announced "in conjunction" with the G8 summit of the world's must industrialised nations in Japan in July, Price told journalists, without fixing a date.
"We would like to reach an agreement on a long term global reduction goal — this is a collective goal," Price said.
Price, accompanied by James Connaughton, chairman of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, is in Paris to lay the groundwork for a meeting here of "major economies" that account for 80 percent of the greenhouse gases that drive climate change, expected for mid-April.
The group of 17 — including the G8 nations, the EU and major developing economies such as China and India — met at Bush's behest last September in Washington, and then again in January, in Hawaii.
The United States refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the UN agreement mandating emissions reductions for industrialised nations, because it did not cover developing nations.
"An effective framework requires the participation of all major economies, developed and developing alike," Price said. "Europe and the US could turn out the lights today and come 2030, come 2050 we would not have addressed the problem of climate change."
Price said he was "frustrated" at repeated criticisms that the United States had launched their initiative — which focuses on technology-driven solutions to climate change — to compete with UN-sponsored negotiations.
"The major economies process is intended to supplement, compliment and support the UN negotiations. It is not an alternative to those negotiations," he said.
He said the United States has already shown its willingness to engage in binding agreements, pointing to a handful of binding national programmes implemented since 2001 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency.
A mandate to increase production of renewable fuels by 500 percent before 2022, for example, would replace 15 percent of current oil fossil fuel consumption with renewable alternatives, he said.
"It is constantly suggested that the US favours only aspirational goals, non-binding goals, voluntary measures," he told journalists. "Let me be very clear: that is simply not true."