The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge: Connecting cities while lessening risk

Upon completion, the 50km-long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will not only connect three major Chinese economic zones, it will also be the largest cross-sea bridge in the world. Besides providing reinsurance protection, Swiss Re's Global Engineering will also provide Risk Management Services in order to minimize the project's risks and maximise its potential.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) project will connect three economically important areas for China, lessening travel time between the regions and opening the way for a smoother trade network in the southern region.

The project consists of over-water viaducts, cable-stayed bridges, artificial islands and sub-sea tunnels in mainland China waters together with boundary-crossing facilities and link roads within the three territories. Over half of the proposed 50-kilometer structure will stretch over water. Construction of the main bridge section started in December 2010 and the project is due to be completed in 2016. The main bridge section in mainland waters will cost USD 5 billion and construction will face many challenges:

  • Construction is in a frequent typhoon landing area
  • Pieces as heavy as 3,000 tons must be transferred from barges
  • The construction sites are in heavily traveled marine routes
  • A 180m long “tube tunnel box” will lie on the  seabed more than 45m below
  • Artificial islands will be constructed on soft soil

The project is accompanied by a Risk Management programme. In simple terms, risk management in projects is about proactively working with project stakeholders to minimize risks and maximize the opportunities associated with project decisions. Risk management also gives the chance to enter into dialogue with the insured, which strengthens the relationship.

For more information about the risk management programme please contact Franco Ciamberlano or Jimmy Lim.

Published 9 May 2011

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