November 2014 – Photo Update – Studio City & MO-ZH-HK Bridge

Studio City Construction


Photos taken November 2014: A view on the construction of Studio City at Cotai, Macau. Not fully visible from this side, but the first part of the roller coaster is up. The roller coaster will be in between the two towers.

Studio City Construction

Also the Zhuhai-Macau-Hongkong bridge is developing with a huge area east of the Macau peninsula having been reclaimed for various use:

Construction for the Zhuhai-Macau-Hongkong Bridge

Construction for the Zhuhai-Macau-Hongkong Bridge

Real Options Approach on Macau Road Network – A contribution to NGI-102x


Another contribution to NGI-102x, the Next Generations Infrastructure online course by Delft University. This article had been presented as part of a peer-reviewed homework assignment. The assignment included description of an infrastructure asset, its owner/manager, current challenges and a real options approach for a solution:

I have chosen the public transportation infrastructure of Macau and its asset owner DSAT, which is the responsible government department in Macau for transportation and road works. As a public body it is responsible for “researches, preparations and implementations of road and transport regulations and planning, as well as the transport facilities and road works affairs”. In particular I have chosen the road network asset.

The asset characteristics of the road network are

  • Function: public, transportation of public
  • Behavior: passive
  • Life cycle: up to 20 years – 100 years
  • Type: fixed, distributed

The environment is:

  • Market – stable
  • Technology development – limited to none

Most relevant lifecycle phase:

  • Design (once the roads are planned they are usually not changed, i.e. a straight does not become a junction)

I see the following three challenges:

  • Anticipation of use of individual roads during the Design stage. In Macau, land reclamation creates new city districts (e.g. Cotai) requiring roads. During the design stage the proper road sizing needs to be established.
  • Maintenance of roads in downtown Macau without disturbance to public. Due to its fixed and distributed nature one cannot repair all roads at the same time without heavily impacting traffic.
  • City development going in a different way than anticipated 40 years ago (e.g. downtown Macau requiring new cable ways underneath roads for telecommunication, etc.). Hence opening and closing of existing roads is common in Macau and Taipa.

A real option to improve the asset management is to include multiple-use trunking and cable pipes in future road development with access points at road junctions. That way, future services could utilize the road ways without having to dig the roads up and disturbing traffic. The initial cost and time of installation is small in comparison to a later implementation when the road is being used.

Smart Grid Challenges in Macau – A contribution to NGI-102x


The below is a peer review homework as part of the online course NGI-102x Next Generation Infrastructures by Delft University.

This article describes the problems and challenges of the electricity grid of Macau. In Macau the only electricity supplier and distributor is Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM). They have 220 thousand customers (on a population of roughly 560 thousand inhabitants), a peak power demand of 765.6 MW and a gross electricity consumption of 4409 GWh. As of 2009 the electricity grid is connected to the main grid in mainland China (both 220kV and 110kV) which is supplying more than 50% of the electricity to the SAR Macau. In Macau itself CEM operates an installed generation capacity of 472 MW which contributed 222GWh in 2013. The remaining 4187 GWh came from mainland China. Energy generation in Macau is based on diesel-fuel and gas. No private producers and no renewable energy generation is established. Macau as a country is increasing its land size by land reclamation and as such in the long run also its energy needs. As of 2009 the key performance indicators stood as:

  • SAIDI (average outage duration for each customer served) – 3.7 minutes
  • CAIDI (average outage duration that any given customer would experience) – 15.8 minutes

Hence the current challenges of the grid are:

  • Dependency on external suppliers (i.e. mainland China) over which there are no regulatory or governmental controls.
  • Reliability to be kept the same or improved despite the growth of the network
  • Casino constructions and their expected pressure on the peak load while maintaining supply during peak load / distribution of load
  • Environmental pressure due to energy generation emissions
  • Pressure on current tariff system due to consumers

From my point of view a true smart grid cannot be established within Macau alone as most of the energy generation is happening externally in the Pearl-River-Delta region of mainland China. However there are significant benefits for CEM and Macau if a Macau-internal smart grid can be established:

  • By installation of smart meters of type F5 or higher, flexible tariffs can be implemented while giving the consumers the opportunity to monitor their consumption and usage. This can help
  • Private energy generation for large-scale casinos can be introduced that, given their high energy consumption could help to reduce the peak load.
  • With the incorporation of Hengqin island into the SAR Macau and its hills the opportunity for renewable energy generation is given (wind power)

The above benefits justify in my opinion the implementation of a smart grid in Macau.


From number9dream to The Bone Clocks


Since I read the book Number9dream I am a fan of David Mitchell. His latest publication called The Bone Clocks is another fantastic realistic journey throughout his universe. For all fans of his creations I recommend Kathryn Schulz semi-interview at Vulture. In particular have a look at the chart she has included in her blog post: An overview of characters re-appearing throughout David Mitchell’s novels. Reading through the comment sections there were two more characters mentioned that have been removed from final edit (they were included in the galley version). Now I have to decide whether to return to one of the earlier books and re-read sections of them or wait for the next book.

Macau – Cotai Construction in Photos – Studio City, The Parisian, Galaxy Phase 2 and Sands Cotai

Studio City under Construction

There are several new mega casino resorts under way in Cotai and here are a few construction progress photos of them. Above and below you can see Studio City, the new Melco-Crown enterprise at Cotai, which is in a similar state as Galaxy Macau Phase 2 several months ago: The facade is coming up and I believe that fit out has started on the podium and lower tower floors. From the numbers displayed on the floors we are talking about two towers with each 30 floors.

Studio City Construction 2014-09-14

Studio City Construction 2014-09-14

Galaxy Macau Phase 2, as already seen in the last posts, is in pretty good shape with facade nearly completed.

Galaxy Phase 2 Construction 2014-09-15

Galaxy Phase 2 Construction 2014-09-15

Galaxy Phase 2 Construction 2014-09-15

Sands is further working on their Tower 4 of Sands Cotai Central.

Sands Cotai Central Tower 4 Construction 2014-09-14

An impression from The Parisian, after its recent stop and resume of construction works, most likely linked to missing (or incomplete) construction permits.

The Parisian Construction 2014-09-15

Macau – Gaming Revenue Figures – VIP vs. Mass Gaming


all figures in million MOP


As a continuation of my last post on visitor and revenue figures, this post will present further graphical representations of Macau’s gaming market on the basis of DICJ’s revenue figures (as above and below) and individual data showing the current distribution of gaming revenue based on VIP and mass market figures.

Growth - Month to Month

In the first graph of this post you can see the overall growth (and latest decline) in overall gaming revenue in Macau. February 2014 was the top spot with a total of 38007 million MOP overall gaming revenue. In the second graph you can see the development of revenue on a month to consecutive month basis in percentage. As exepcted there is an up and down due to seasonal changes, lengths of individual months, etc. The real picture, as reported in my last post and in the news, becomes however only apparent when one has a look at the development on a month to previous year month basis:

Growth - Month to Last Year Month


Revenue growth had been on a more or less constant decline since 2010, resulting in the current negative growth figures.

As raised towards the end of my last post and as mentioned in the newspaper, overall visitor figures are up, with revenues down, suggesting that mass market gamers increased yet VIP gamers withdraw from Macau. What does that mean for the current casino set up in terms of their revenue mix of VIP vs. mass market gaming. Having had a look at individual casinos annual reports I was able to find the following: SJM, Wynn, MGM and Galaxy are sharing information on their VIP and mass market revenue figures.



And as expected the VIP market segment reveals itself as the dominating source of revenue for these casinos with average percentages of 70% to 80% (based upon the sum of VIP revenue and Mass Market revenue; slots and other revenues not taken into account).

Given the fact that there are 6 new casinos under construction which are all trying to get their share of gamblers it will become a highly competitive market in Macau and only those casinos that are able to switch their revenue and profit sources quickly enough in line with the market developments, will be able to maintain their overall return on investment rates.

Disclaimer: All figures and percentages are given for information only without any guarantee of accuracy. I invite everyone to read the information sources by oneself to get more details.

Update: Graphical representation of VIP revenue in % of overall revenue (incl. slots, etc.)

VIP Revenue in Overall Revenue