Port of Tauranga today officially opened a major expansion of its container terminal facilities.
The port, New Zealand s largest, has expanded its container wharf length by nearly a third, installed a new Super-Post Panamax gantry crane and ancillary equipment, and grown its landside cargo capacity.
Today marks the next phase of Port of Tauranga s growth, said Chief Executive Mark Cairns.
"It's a huge step-up in the capability of New Zealand s port infrastructure", Mr Cairns said.
"We're now in an excellent position to handle new services and the growing trend to more frequent visits from larger ships."
The capital expenditure programme has included:
The $30 million extension to wharf length at the Tauranga Container Terminal, increasing it by 170 metres or 28%.
The installation and commissioning of a new Liebherr Super-Post Panamax ship-to-shore twinlift gantry crane, increasing the number of the Terminal s container cranes to six.
Purchase of six new straddle carriers to transport containers to and from the cranes.
Over the last two years, increasing ground slot capacity by 30% and refrigerated container outlets by 60%.
The construction of a new rail siding including reconfiguration of the existing area to allow up to four trains to be loaded and unloaded at once.
Mr Cairns said the investment programme in the terminal is the largest expenditure since the container terminal opened two decades ago. It will be complemented by major dredging works scheduled to begin later this year, which will widen and deepen Tauranga Harbour shipping channels to accommodate larger vessels.
"Our ability to cater for larger ships will not only benefit the Bay of Plenty, but also the broader national economy. These investments are vital to ensure New Zealand s exporters can remain competitive globally."