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Seaspan New York visits Port Nelson

The second largest vessel to ever visit Port Nelson will arrive this weekend.

Operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the Seaspan New York will arrive this Saturday on the high tide and spend 24 hours in Nelson before departing on Sunday at noon.

At 260.1m, the Seaspan New York is the second longest container vessel to visit Port Nelson following the visit of the 262 metre Maersk vessel Harrier Hunter in March 2018

Built in 2005, the Seaspan New York has a beam of 32.35m and can carry up to 4253 total equivalent unit (TEU) containers. It will be escorted by the Port’s two newest tugs Huria Matenga II and Tōia before being berthed on the Main Wharf.

GM Operations Matt McDonald says these increasing visits from larger vessels further indicates shipping companies’ move towards operating larger vessels with greater capacity.

“The Port is committed to future proofing Port Nelson to accommodate these larger vessels and the redevelopment of the Main Wharf North will enable the Port to handle more of these 260 to 270 metre vessels. These larger vessels will create more regional growth opportunities for our importers and exporters,” says Mr McDonald.

The redevelopment of the Main Wharf North also forms part of a wider programme of works including the recent purchase of a new 70-ton bollard pull tug, future crane replacement and changes to the entrance channel to prepare for the demand by shipping companies to operate larger vessels.

The Port is also currently scoping a resource consent to complete the changes required in the entrance channel to regularly bring in the larger vessels. The proposed work includes removing an arc in the approach to The Cut, giving vessels a simpler line of approach, as well as increasing the scope for turning vessels inside the lee of Haulashore Island, which offers some protection from the wind, rather than turning them in the area near the wharf, called the ‘swing basin’.

“If we don’t future-proof the port for larger vessels we will be restricted to receiving only smaller ships and this adds time and costs for our import and export sectors who may have to have their cargo moved to larger vessels elsewhere,” says Mr McDonald.

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