Overhead Ropeway (Green Island Cement Co.) [c.1945-c.1972]

Submitted by Klaus on Sat, 01/08/2022 - 23:34
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
(Day, Month, & Year are approximate.)
Date closed / demolished
(Day, Month, & Year are approximate.)

Overhead or aerial ropeway operated by Green Island Cement Company. It appears on the 1945 map on Gwulo and runs from a pier inwards. Originally the ropeway ended at Ma Tau Wai Road: See the 1945 map and a photo from about 1949. 

map 1945 Kwo Lo Wan
map 1945 Kwo Lo Wan, by Klaus
1949 aerial view of Green Island Cement Company
1949 aerial view of Green Island Cement Company, by Klaus

And here:

green island cement tower by ma tau wai rd.png
green island cement tower by ma tau wai rd.png, by simtang

Between 1963 and 1969, the ropeway was shortened and ended at a a long stretched shed

See aerial photo from 1969.

1969 aerial view of Green Island Cement Company
1969 aerial view of Green Island Cement Company, by hkms2.0

It was probably used both for the transport of raw materials as well as products.

There is an article on industrialhistoryhk about this ropeway. It is referred there that it still stood there at the end on the 1960s, and perhaps longer. 

Operation dates were (wildly) guessed to be 1945 to 1972.

Photos that show this Place


There is a gic web site which describes its history at:


That page has a pdf file


which says something like this:

Green Island Cement Company Limited (“GIC”) is immensely proud to be one of
the oldest cement companies in Asia, first commencing business in Macau back
in 1886. Our historical footprint began with our original factory where barges
brought in limestone from Guangdong Province and loaded cement for export
to China.
GIC was then established in Hong Kong on 3 January 1887 and our second
plant in Hok Un, Hung Hom was opened in 1900............China Cement Company
(Hong Kong) Limited (“China Cement”) was formed in 1978 by
GIC, Kaiser Cement Corporation, Cheung Kong and a PRC
company with an intention to build a cement plant at Tap Shek
Kok and the plant was fully commissioned in 1983 when faith
in Hong Kong’s future and prospects was re-affirmed.
Green Island Cement (Holdings) Limited (“GICH”), our holding
company, took full ownership of China Cement in 1987 and
relocated its manufacturing facilities and operations from Hung
Hom to Tap Shek Kok in the same year, but with certain area
retained as our Directors and Sales Office.

Apparently the company was still active in Hunghom till the 1980s as the following 1987 news report shows a picture of some local legislators visiting their computer room of their Hunghom facility.

1987-07-07 green island cement news.png
1987-07-07 green island cement news.png, by simtang

On the other hand, the Eldex industrial building which stands there now was built in 1971. There is some contradiction. One possible scenario is that the company sold part of its land near ma tau wei rd around 1970 as property price skyrocketed at that time but retained their manufacturing facilities.


Even today the company maintains an office near the east end of Hok Yuen street, in a building called Harbour center tower 2 built in 1990.


In the above 1969 aereal picture, the first building from the right above the Ma Tau Wai Road was the Portland House (1964-1982), an industrial building. It was directly opposite Tsing Chau street. This picture shows the view from the west end of Tsing Chau street looking east.

1977 Portland House 「青堡大廈」built 1964-1982.jpg
1977 Portland House 「青堡大廈」built 1964-1982.jpg, by simtang


Further north after passing the Hok Yuen Street was a row of ancient residential buildings. One of them at 45j ma tau wai road collapsed in 2010. It is just out of the picture.


Land sale of parts of their site near Ma Tau Wei Road seems very reasonable. To achieve this, the ropeway was not just shortened, but also moved some 10 meters to the southeast. This can be seen on the photo below where the situation from 1963 is compared to the one in 1969.

Overhead Ropeway 1963/69
Overhead Ropeway 1963/69, by Klaus

The ropeway was moved closer to the productions halls/sheds. For better visualization, the track of the older ropeway is illustrated by the red line on the lower part of the photo. 

This is a merger of the maps 180 -SW-13 and 179-SE-16.They are from 1690, updated 1969.

On this map, two overhead ropeways are shown. Not clear if they were both active for some time, or only shown on this map.

1969 map of Green Island Cement Company
1969 map of Green Island Cement Company, by hkms2.0