Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Port of Tauranga gains approval for harbour dredging

5 March 2013

Port of Tauranga gains approval for harbour dredging

Port of Tauranga has today received final approval from the Minister of Conservation for its plans to widen and deepen shipping channels, to accommodate larger ships.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, welcomed the news, saying the benefits to the New Zealand economy from the ability to accommodate larger vessels would be widespread and significant.

The dredging project will be carried out in several stages, with the first commencing towards the end of 2013 and taking six months to a year to complete.

Larger ships, both containerised and bulk, have relatively higher fuel efficiency (and are therefore more carbon efficient) with lower operating costs per unit, says Mr Cairns. This will enhance the competitiveness of New Zealand exporters and provide lower freight costs for importers.

The New Zealand Shippers Council estimates the real value to New Zealand of bigger ships operating on the South East Asia trade routes could be up to $338 million per year, and increasing up to $391 million per year by 2020.1

Facts and figures

The dredging project will widen and deepen the shipping channel from 12.9 metres to 16.0 metres depth at low water. Ships of up to 347 metres in length and 14.5 metres draught will be able to be accommodated in Tauranga Harbour.

The first stage of dredging, costing $40 to $50 million, will give access to ships with a capacity of 5,000 to 6,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent containers). The biggest ships currently using the port can carry around 4,500 TEUs.

The second stage of dredging will accommodate 8,200 TEU ships, future-proofing the port for the next 15 to 20 years.

The expansion will also allow larger bulk cargo and cruise ships to visit Tauranga. This season, the port hosted visits from the Celebrity Solstice a 317 metre cruise vessel, the largest ever to visit Tauranga - in the growing trend to larger ships. The first stage of dredging will allow Tauranga to host the Queen Mary cruise vessel, which had to be turned away this cruise season.

1 New Zealand Shippers Council. The Question of Bigger Ships. Securing New Zealand s International Supply Chain . August 2010

The dredged material will be predominantly clean sand, and the majority will be placed in existing off-shore deposition sites which have been in use since 1968. There are also a number of near-shore sites designed to replenish beaches at Mount Beach, Ocean Beach, and Pilot Bay.

The Port s Sulphur Point container terminal is the largest in New Zealand, handling more than 850,000 containers (TEUs) a year.

The dredging work is part of a $170 million capital expenditure programme to expand capacity and improve productivity at the port.

Other work under way includes a 170 metre extension of the Sulphur Point wharves, which is nearing completion and will expand berth capacity by 28%. The Company is also currently commissioning a sixth ship-to-shore gantry crane, with a seventh on order for delivery in early 2014.

These preparations for more frequent ship visits and larger volumes of cargo will ensure that we continue to meet the capacity demands of our customers and maintain our high productivity levels into the future, says Mr Cairns.

The consent application to dredge the harbour to accommodate larger ships has been a challenging process for both Iwi and the Port over the last four years and the Port has learnt a lot throughout the process, of the Mauri that Tauranga Moana place on Te Awanui (Tauranga Harbour) including Mauao, says Mr Cairns.

The dredging project resource consent conditions have been modified throughout the process, to include:

The establishment of a trust to recognise the relationship of Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga and their Hapu with Te Awanui. The Trust will comprise five iwi and two Port of Tauranga representatives and will set priorities and allocate funds for future harbour improvement projects.

A minimum separation distance of the dredging works from Te Kuia Rock The development of a Kaimoana Restoration Programme to develop research and monitoring criteria to remedy or mitigate the effects on kaimoana, in particular the pipi beds on Te Paritaha (Centre Bank) that will be damaged by the dredging works. The establishment of further tertiary and post graduate research studies aimed at promoting better environmental health of Te Awanui (Tauranga Harbour).

We will continue to place a high degree of importance on productive working relationships with tangata whenua and the new trust will provide a forum for building on these relationships and improving the health and well-being of the beautiful harbour we share, says Mr Cairns.

Dredging design class of vessel S Class - 8200 TEUs nominal capacity. 347 metres length, 43 metres beam and 14.5 metres draught.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Housing: English On Housing Affordability And The Economy

"Long lead times in the planning process tend to drive prices higher in the upswing of the housing cycle. And those lead times increase the risk that eight years later, when additional supply arrives, the demand shock that spurred the additional supply has reversed. The resulting excess supply could produce a price crash..." More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news