Smith, Wahee & Co. sugar refinery / China Sugar Refinery [1870-1928]

Submitted by annelisec on Tue, 05/04/2010 - 18:52
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
Date closed / demolished
Previous place(s) at this location

Photos that show this Place


The road layout on the 1880 map isn't an exact match for today, but Great George Street is shown. That would put the refinery on the north of today's Kingston Street, between Cleveland St to the west, and Victoria Park to the east.

The position of the refinery on the 1880 map also matches the appearance of the Mint painting, with seafront on two sides.

I found a news from Hong Kong Daily Press, dated 1869-12-30, depicting a visit to the new China Sugar Refinery at East Point (P.2, 2nd column of the scanned newspaper in following link).

"...Those who are under the impression that the days of enterprise in Hongkong are at and end, would be astinished by a visit to the work now being erected, and which it is contemplated will be completed within two months..."

So I guess the Date of completion should be earlier in 1870 February!


Hi Nicky,

That's a good find. Most sites say that Jardines built the refinery here in 1878, eg:

In 1878, Messrs. Jardine Matheson & Co., Ltd established the first sugar refinery in Hong Kong named China Sugar Refinery Company. It was located at East Point of Causeway Bay. At that time Gloucester Road was at the waterfront and Jardine Matheson built a company wharf to facilitate the import of raw materials and export of products.


But it's clear from your find that there was a refinery here for several years before that. I found a few more items on the web:

The Jardine Matheson Archive has:

A copy of a lease by William Keswick, acting for himself and for his partners in Jardine, Matheson & Co., to William McGregor Smith, acting for Wahee, Smith & Co., sugar refiners, both parties of Victoria, Hong Kong, of a portion of Marine Lot 52, Victoria, for a period of fifteen years from 1 January 1870, dated 17 January 1870.

Carl T. Smith describes the founding of the sugar refinery:

So it seems when Jardines started sugar refining in 1878, they were taking over a refinery that had been in operation for several years. I'll set the completion date back to 1870.

Regards, David