NTT Com Asia (NTTCA) proposes to install a telecommunication cable (Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) cable) of approximately 7,200 km in length, connecting Japan and Singapore with branches to the Philippines, Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) and Malaysia. NTTCA is responsible for securing the approval to land the ASE cable in Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR). The proposed landing site will be at a new Beach Manhole (BMH) and ultimately connect with a Data Centre in Tseung Kwan O (TKO) Industrial Estate. It should be noted that Tseung Kwan O is currently the landing site for a number of submarine cables. From Tseung Kwan O, the cable will extend eastward approaching the Tathong Channel. Near to Cape Collinson, the cable is approximately parallel to the Tathong Channel until north of Waglan Island where the cable travels eastward to the boundary of HKSAR waters where it enters the South China Sea. The total length of cable in Hong Kong SAR waters is approximately 33.5 km.
The Project Profile (PP-452/2011) which includes an assessment of the potential environmental impacts associated with the installation of the submarine telecommunications cable system was prepared and submitted to the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) under section 5.(1)(b) and 5.(11) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) for the application for Permission to apply directly for Environmental Permit (EP). The Environmental Protection Department, subsequently issued an approval letter on Application for Permission to Apply Directly for Environmental Permit on 14th November 2011 (EP-433/2011).
During the cable installation works it has been recommended in the approved Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) Manual that predicted environmental impacts are monitored and checked as part of an EM&A programme. The key aspects of the programme include Water Quality, Marine Mammal (Finless Porpoise) and Coral Monitoring during cable installation works.