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Ports of Auckland corrects market misinformation

21 October 2009
For immediate release
Ports of Auckland corrects market misinformation
Ports of Auckland Managing Director Jens Madsen said today that Morningstar research unit AspectHuntley had provided, and declined to withdraw, incorrect information to the market about the company’s future capacity and capital expenditure requirements.
Mr Madsen said AspectHuntley’s statement that Port of Tauranga was capable of handling larger ships with lower capital investment than Ports of Auckland was incorrect.
“AspectHuntley’s claim that Ports of Auckland needs to spend $200m on dredging to accommodate the new generation of larger container vessels is untrue.”
Releasing to media a copy of a letter [EDITORS – attached] to Ports of Auckland customers and stakeholders, Mr Madsen said the Rangitoto channel was already capable of taking the larger vessels, within tidal windows comparable to those regularly applied at a number of other international ports.
“Ports of Auckland has already completed a major channel dredging project and invested in new cranes and straddles,” Mr Madsen said.
“We are fortunate that the Waitemata Harbour has a substantial tidal range and as a consequence the depth of water at high tide is greater than at most other New Zealand ports.”
“We only need to deepen a berth pocket and undertake minor wharf strengthening work at the Fergusson terminal, at a cost of less than $50m, in order to cater for the larger ships, when it becomes necessary.  Consents for this work are in place and detailed design will shortly be underway.”
“Our existing infrastructure and preparations are a step ahead of any other New Zealand port.”
Ports of Auckland has eight container cranes, the three largest of which are already capable of servicing 6,000 TEU vessels.  A further two require only minor modifications to do so.
Port of Tauranga has five container cranes of which only one is capable of servicing 6,000 TEU vessels.
Container volumes through Ports of Auckland grew 0.3% during 2008/09, with the Company increasing its share of the upper North Island container market from 59% to 61%.
Mr Madsen attributed the trend to the consolidation of a number of direct import calls at Ports of Auckland, as shipping lines have implemented vessel sharing arrangements similar to airline industry code sharing.
“There are clear time, cost and environmental benefits to discharging imports direct at the Auckland seaport, instead of routing import cargo from other ports via rail to the Auckland market,” Mr Madsen said.
“These efficiencies, combined with sustained productivity improvements at Ports of Auckland over the last two years, are behind our recent gains in market share.”

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