Kai Tak District Cooling System

  • We have developed a district cooling system using surrounding seawater.
  • The system is used at scale for commercial buildings to reduce the use of air conditioning units.
  • Annual saving expected to be approximately 85 million kWh per year, equivalent to HK$76.5m upon completion.

A district cooling system (DCS) with a design capacity of 284MW serving all non-domestic buildings in the Kai Tak development (KTD) is currently in its final construction phase and due for total completion in 2021.

Arup has worked with Hong Kong Electrical & Mechanical Services Department for over 14 years, bringing the project from concept to construction.

The development in Kowloon consists of commercial offices, retail, offices for government departments, transport infrastructure, community buildings, hotels and both public and private housing. It is expected to reduce electricity consumption and carbon emission by approximately 35% compared to a conventional air-cooled method.

Our sustainability, building services and civil engineers initially looked at the benefits that can be achieved through cooling load sharing between diverse cooling requirements, standby capacity and spatial usage. Apart from reducing the overall plant space and initial cost, the operational cost, maintenance cost and energy efficiency can also be improved substantially and is therefore more cost-effective.

Over the duration of the project, our role also included the installation of electrical and mechanical equipment at the northern plant, southern underground plant room, seawater pump house and DCS substation of the user buildings. This also included the laying of the remaining underground DCS pipes, seawater pipes and associated interface connection with the previous phase pipes so as to provide chilled water to the whole development.

Currently in the final phase, we are providing further electrical and mechanical engineering services as well as contract administration and construction supervision of the contracts. Upon its completion within this project will be a role model for wider adoption of district cooling system in other areas of Hong Kong.

When finished, the annual saving of electricity is expected to be about 85 million kWh, equivalent to HK$76.5 million on electricity bills and a reduction of 59,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission from the development.


  • Overview of the Kai Tak district cooling system in Hong KongOpen gallery

    The district cooling system will use the surrounding seawater and is expected to save the equivalent of HK$76.5M a year.