PORT NELSON COMMITS TO FURTHER CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT TO SUPPORT REGIONAL GROWTH
Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council owned Port Nelson Ltd (Port Nelson) has announced a further significant capital expenditure commitment with around $29 million to be spent in the next 12-18 months on the redevelopment of the Main Wharf North berth and the purchase of a new Damen harbour tug.
Port Nelson Chairman Phil Lough announced the new expenditure today, emphasising it was a significant endorsement of the health of the region’s economy and would help to ensure Port Nelson could meet the demands of larger vessels calling at the Port as well as improving earthquake resilience for the region.
“This Main Wharf North project will complete a rebuild programme that commenced in 1998 with the building of a 120-metre length of Main Wharf South, to which a further 60 metres was added in 2008” Mr Lough commented.
A further 100 metres of wharf, the majority of which is almost 100 years old, will be rebuilt to a strength of 100 tonnes axle load which will then give Port Nelson a full heavy-duty berth of 280 metres in length. This will ensure the company is able to meet the demands of visits by larger container and cruise vessels for the foreseeable future. It will also mean based on work undertaken as part of an ongoing resilience planning project, that Port Nelson will have a berth capable of standing up to damage that could occur as the result of a major earthquake allowing the importation of emergency supplies and fuel, critical in times of emergency, to continue.
Planning work on the wharf development is likely to commence in early 2019 with contractors likely to be on site around July 2019 to commence groundworks and the project due for completion in mid-2020.
The purchase of the new, still to be named, Damen 2411 tug follows on from the purchase of the 52-tonne bollard pull tug Toia which arrived in Nelson in September of 2016.
‘This increased tug capacity of 70 tonnes bollard pull will give us the necessary power to berth larger ships than we can currently handle’ Mr Lough said ‘as well as the ability to extend berthing and sailing windows for vessels currently using the Port’.
In recent years the size of container vessels servicing the Port has risen significantly and this trend is likely to continue over the next two years. This increased towage power should also assist Port Nelson and the Nelson / Tasman area in securing additional visits of larger cruise vessels that have not called into the region up until this point.
The Vietnamese built tug, is currently undergoing final fitting work, which aims to be completed in time for an April 2019 delivery to Nelson.
THE NEWLY PURCHASED, STILL TO BE NAMED, DAMEN 2411 TUG
Credit: Port Nelson