Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hong Kong Power

Image of a Bank of Hell bank note
Dear Gentle Reader, 

You may have asked yourself, when reading about the Arsenale yesterday, and Hong Kong in the past (ooh, does your scribe flatter himself)... 

How do they get their power in Hong Kong?

Interesting story. 

They get it from a power plant. 

OK, that is not interesting. But there is something interesting about the power plant in Hong Kong, besides the fact that your scribe flew over it the other day.

The power plant used to be on land zoned for more than just power generation. 

An enterprising young man bought the power plant, relocated it to an abandoned island that no one wanted to live on and so was cheap, and stuck about seventy eighty-storey residential towers on the place where the power plant used to be.

He made a fortune. 

That young man then continued doing development work like that, in Hong Kong and around the world. 

His name was, and is, Li Ka-shing. He is the wealthiest man in Hong Kong and with a wealth measured at 26.5 billion USD in March 2008, Forbes ranked him No. 11 on the global list of billionaires.

His son bought some land in Vancouver, Canada, years ago, just after the 1986 World Expo(sition). It was very old industrial land, and therefore very polluted with very high remediation costs.

The province of British Columbia owned the land, I believe, and sold it all in one chunk. Inexplicably, the province agreed to pay all the remediation costs to make the land usable for residential construction. My understanding is that the remediation costs were on par with the purchase price. Shrewd family of deal makers, the Li family.

Here is where that famous power plant of Hong Kong is located now.

Image of Hong Kong's power plant from the air.
Which is not where the expression money is power comes from, but it could be.

So there is a little look at a person, a place, and a starting point in Hong Kong.



Junosmom said...

you sure his name isn't "ka-ching"?

Cloudia said...

Love this post, as usual, Scribe-

I'm naively wondering what one family NEEDS with such wealth, and what they DO with it. . . . . Sharing?

Sepiru Chris said...


I was laying mental bets who would come up with that...


Security fees? Insurance against kidnapping? Special cars? People to screen you from everyday life and living?

Travis Erwin said...

Chris I just wanted to stop in and say thank you for helping my family get through what has been a tough week. The support of the blog world has been very heartwarming and I am blessed to have so many friends.

Heidelweiss said...

I'm certain I could find SOMETHING to do with that money ;). Interesting post. The rich get richer, eh? Also, I loved your Venice post and reading The Inferno. I haven't read that in so very long. As to the number of eyes I have to gouge out. Only one pair. I just threaten a LOT. I've never had the guts to do it. Yet.

Sepiru Chris said...


You are very welcome, and we are looking forward to all ending well. I have lost everything twice. People like to say that they are just things, but some things I sorely miss for the memories they evoke. I continue to send heartfelt best wishes and will be buying bricks.



I am continuously astounded that people read these posts. I am, however, delighted that they do, and more delighted that they return, and humbled that they enjoy them and tell me so!

I was beginning to imagine you as one of the legions of angels with multitudes of eyes. Or at least with six. So it is with grace that I accept that you have the normal complement of two. Of course, some of the nine orders of angels also only have two...

I am very pleased to know that this was only a threat, re your eyes.

And yes, the rich get richer. Possibly no happier than the rest of us, of course. But definitely more concerned with kidnappings, extortion, and unintended negative consequences.

If I make my millions and keep them (that would be a first) then I would hope to maintain my anonymity long enough to give it all away. A super-philanthropist, that would be me.

Query: Does the CEO of BL industries get stock options? Do you have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley? I presume that run a privately held company, but you never know these days. Apparently you can securitize almost anything...