The first vessel to use the new $30 million wharf extension at the Port of Tauranga has arrived.
The ship arrived on Tuesday and was currently discharging the Port of Tauranga's new Liebherr ship to shore container crane, Port of Tauranga commercial manager Graeme Marshall said.
The 170 metre wharf extension at Sulphur Point is due for completion at the end of March.
The work is part of the $180 million capital developments, which is currently underway at the Tauranga Container Terminal.
Mr Marshall said the extension would increase the length of continuous quay at Sulphur Point to 770 metres. This would enable the Container Terminal to handle three large vessels simultaneously.
The number of vessels visiting the Port of Tauranga have increased in size over the past twenty years.
In 1992, the average vessel to call at the Tauranga Container Terminal was 180 metres _ now the average is 230 metres with the longest regular caller currently 269 metres, he said.
Vessel capacity had also increased.
From April this year, 11 vessels of greater than 4,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) were scheduled to call in Tauranga regularly.
The new Super Post Panamax container crane will be the sixth crane for the Terminal.
It is set to be erected over the next eight to 10 weeks and be commissioned early April.
Mr Marshall said a further six new straddle carriers had also arrived. This would increase the total fleet to 36.
"These new developments place the Port of Tauranga in an excellent position to handle future growth.''