Port Otago Limited announced the commencement of a $30 million capital works programme in July 2015. These projects will position the southern port for the next generation. The series of projects are, to a large extent, inter-related and in response to the rapidly changing shipping environment. The imminent arrival of larger container and cruise ships on the New Zealand coast and the need to be able to aggregate cargo at key ports, are the main drivers of this generational development at Port Chalmers.
There were four projects originally included in the $30 million envelope:
A fifth project, to extend Port Otago's No. 2 Container Berth by 135m, will commence in May 2017. This project will cost a further $15.
Port Otago has consistently engaged in infrastructure upgrades and in recent years has completed the purchase of a new 68-tonne bollard pull tug, a new pilot launch, two new container cranes and a number of four-high straddles. These have all been part of a co-ordinated programme of infrastructure upgrades designed to maintain the Port’s operating efficiency and productivity. All five projects are part of that on-going programme and highlight the Port’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of shipping and port activity in New Zealand.
Port Chalmers was where New Zealand’s modern export trade originated, with the first shipment of frozen meat leaving the Port for Europe in 1882. Since then, Port Chalmers has been in the vanguard of shipping activity and it remains as relevant to today’s international supply chain as it ever was. To maintain that relevance, continued development is required to make sure bigger ships can call and that there is enough cargo available to fill those bigger ships when they arrive.
The projects that make up Next Generation Port Otago will result in increased employment within the company with up to 15 new jobs created as a result of the channel deepening and warehouse expansions, plus further jobs related to the operation of the new tug and barge.