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New Customer For Gisborne/Napier Line

15 August

New Customer For Gisborne/Napier Line

Tranz Rail's efforts to secure new customers for the Gisborne to Napier line have been successful with a new agreement reached with Pine Sawmills Ltd near Gisborne.

The recently revamped Pine Sawmills, 6km south of Gisborne, has reached a one-year agreement with Tranz Rail to move its export sawn timber to the Port of Napier where it will be exported mainly to Asian or United States markets.

Finished timber from the sawmill will provide a backload for Tranz Rail for the regular Saturday Napier to Gisborne fertiliser service.

"That's good news for Tranz Rail and the future of the line as this agreement and any others will assist in securing the economic viability of this important East Coast link," says Tranz Rail's General Manager Commercial/Sales, Craig Stapleton.

"Pine Sawmills is also predicting its production will grow considerably over the next two years and we would obviously like to ensure we are working closely with them to pick up those predicted volume increases.

"We will also continue to look for further business opportunities in the area."

Pine Sawmills Chief Executive Graham Wimsett said the availability of the Tranz Rail service was ideal as the mill had only recently been recommissioned and production was only just beginning to ramp up.

"The mill had been mothballed before we took it over in May this year and we've been concentrating on getting it back into good working order and ready for production," says Mr Wimsett.

"There is likely to be some variation in production in the first few months before we move to a steady production level in later half of this year and Tranz Rail had the available capacity, on a regular basis to suit our needs. We are also expecting to double that production level in 2003."

Mr Stapleton said repairs to track damage caused by last week's stormy conditions on the East Coast would be completed next week with the new Pine Sawmills agreement due to begin early next month.

"The Pine Sawmills agreement is a good first step in our ongoing search for new business for this line. We also still have an application before Transfund for further funding to support the ongoing operation of this line."


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