Posted on October 3, 2016
By Simon Hartley, Otago Daily Times
Stage two of Port Otago’s “Next Generation” dredging programme is under way to take most of the 13km channel to a final depth of 14m.
It is expected to be completed by September next year.
Stage one, to widen and deepen the channel to a 13.5m depth, has been completed, and container ship operators immediately took the opportunity to increase container loadings, Port Otago chairman Dave Faulkner said in the company’s full-year report.
When presenting the report to 100% owner the Otago Regional Council on Wednesday, he said one of the “highlights” of the year was the completion of stage one dredging.
“Dredging will have massive benefits for our business and exporters, allowing new-generation [larger] vessels more flexibility to add more cargo and improve efficiency, because they can arrive deeper [laden] at Port Chalmers and then sail deeper, too,” Mr Faulkner told the councillors.
The dredging programme is a $30million project, and an additional $15million is tagged on for a 135m container wharf extension.
That is about to go out to tender and construction is scheduled for next May.
In stage one, 380,000cum of spoil was removed and stage two requires removal of 1.1million cum.
Mr Faulkner told the ORC councillors there was one resource consent breach during the year.
Dredging was halted when it became known a report into the effects of dredging on a kelp forest had not been completed, while operations had begun.
The duties of Port Otago’s new Turkish-made $7million tug Arihi include assisting with cargo vessel arrivals, and also towing the split-hopper barge Hapuka to sea, laden with spoil.
Source: Otago Daily Times