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Key Ports of Auckland projects take shape

Monday 11 April 2005

Key Ports of Auckland projects take shape

A trio of major infrastructure developments are changing the face of the Auckland port and ensuring it can cater to future growth in the Auckland economy.

The port company is investing over $60 million in a new container terminal reclamation extension (stage one) at Axis Fergusson, the deepening of the commercial shipping lane in the Rangitoto Channel and new refrigerated container facilities.

“The developments are vital initiatives in our strategy of providing superior service and having the necessary capacity and capability into the future to handle increases in import and export volumes,” says Sandy Gibson, Axis Intermodal General Manager. Axis Intermodal is Ports of Auckland’s container terminal operator.

Major milestone in New Zealand’s largest port infrastructure project
The deepening of the commercial shipping lane and the Axis Fergusson container terminal reclamation extension reached a major milestone this month.
150,000 cubic metres of dredgings – mainly from the deepening of the commercial shipping lane – has been mudcreted (mixed with cement) and placed as environmentally friendly fill in the terminal extension.

The Axis Fergusson container terminal, with its container capacity of 350,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container unit), is being extended by 9.4 hectares to provide for the future container handling needs of Axis Intermodal’s shipping line customers. The initial six hectares (stage one) will provide an additional 120,000 TEU capacity when completed in 2006. The second half of the reclamation will be completed over a period of time using port maintenance dredgings.

The shipping lane deepening is required in order to widen the tidal window for larger containerships such as those now calling at the port and also to provide for the next generation of vessels expected in the future. This will enable these larger ships to call at almost all stages of the tide.

This major reclamation and dredging work follows the successful completion of initial work – the mechanical excavation of the hard Parnell grit rock from the commercial shipping lane. No blasting was necessary to complete this work, nor is it required for these works.

While the scale of this project is considerable, the construction and dredging activity is of a low intensity with minimal impact on recreational harbour users and port neighbours.

Fast Facts

When the shipping lane deepening and stage one of the Axis Fergusson container terminal extension are completed in 2006:
- Auckland will have a terminal that can service the larger containerships with ease.
- Auckland will cater for an additional 120,000 TEU
- Auckland will have the capacity to move almost one million containers a year.
- Six hectares of land will have been reclaimed.
- 40,000 cubic metres of rock will have been used on the sea walls surrounding the reclamation extension.
- A new 380-metre walkway and viewing platforms on the eastern side of the new terminal will be open to the public.
- 550,000 cubic metres will have been dredged from the commercial shipping lane in the Rangitoto Channel and around the commercial wharves.
- The new shipping lane depth will be 12.5 metres at chart datum (the lowest of low tides).

New refrigerated container facilities to service export trade
New Zealand’s export trade will benefit from a significant refrigerated container (reefer) project just completed at Axis Intermodal.

A reflection of the importance of the refrigerated container sector to its business and the cold-freight logistics chain, Axis Intermodal has invested $4.5 million in the development of two purpose-built reefer facilities.
The new three-container high facilities are exclusively serviced by Axis Intermodal’s remote reefer monitoring system ‘Refcon’ which gives vastly more accurate reefer monitoring and the opportunity to retrieve and use that monitored data. Refcon was designed for the new generation integral reefers with power cable modems.

Mr Gibson says: “In the new era where it is increasingly critical that the cold-chain integrity of sensitive products such as chilled lamb and beef is maintained, Refcon provides major benefits such as slashing the fault detection time.

“This is a major advance over a manual monitoring system where less frequent checks mean a fault could remain undetected for some time.

“The system has the potential to allow our shipping line customers from anywhere in the world to electronically monitor and adjust temperature settings on their reefer containers at the Axis Intermodal container terminals.”

The port of Auckland now has a total reefer capacity of almost 1,800 containers, with further capacity increases when the Axis Fergusson extension is completed.

-ends-

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