Agricultural cargo going through the Port of Whanganui monthly includes – Barley – approx. 1300 tonnes, sawn timber – approx. 1200 cubic metres, fertiliser and other – approx. 1000 tonnes (other includes fish, posts, plastic pipes).
A milestone was achieved last Wednesday with the announcement that Concrete Structures Ltd has been awarded a major $ 13.5 million construction contract to complete stage one of the Te Puwaha port civil construction works, according to Horizons Regional Council.
Whanganui Port Limited Partnership chairman Mark Petersen said, “Concrete Structures Ltd stood out to us for their expertise in the types of marine structures we are building, their willingness to work in a Te Awa Tupua way and their initiative to put forward alternative design solutions to assist the project’s timeline and budget.”
“The port rebuild is a high-profile project, with challenging technical construction elements and a strong focus on broader community outcomes, so we are pleased to sign this first contract,” he said.
“The process to appoint a contractor to complete phase one has been rigorous, and we thank the other high-calibre tenderers who participated.
“For some, this was a collaborative approach to a local project, and while they have missed out on this stage of works, hopefully, the effort they have put in will put them in a good place for the next phase.”
Whanganui Port Operating Company chairman Declan Millin believed “the revitalisation of the port within the Te Pūwaha Project is key in the region’s plans to redevelop the town’s maritime infrastructure to encourage local vessel construction and enhance New Zealand’s coastal shipping network”.
“Not only that, a revitalised port will build a platform for unlocking further investment, stimulate ongoing local economic development in Whanganui, draw in new businesses and ensure the retention and attraction of high-value jobs for our community.”
Te Pūwaha project chairwoman Kahureremoa Aki recognised the largely unseen collaborative effort made by those working on the procurement process over the past few months.
“It is important to acknowledge the amount of work that has gone into this process behind the scenes in order to get to this point,” she said.
“Project partners, as led by Te Mata Pūau, have worked tirelessly to ensure the awa is front of mind in order to achieve this major milestone, one which will bring a huge sense of pride to our community.”
Whanganui Port project manager Phil Wardale confirmed Concrete Structures will be carrying out the entirety of the works during the first stage.
This includes the construction of a heavy pavement vessel hardstand and concrete structures out over the water capable of carrying Q-West Boat Builder’s 380-tonne capacity mobile boat hoist, which, when fully laden, will weigh over 550 tonnes.
The first stage also includes the construction of a specialist water treatment plant to service the vessel maintenance of heavy pavement, along with demolition and ground preparation works.
Funding for this work is split evenly between the Provincial Growth Fund as managed by Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, and Whanganui District Council’s investment into the Limited Partnership, which will own the redevelopment assets.
Wardale confirmed that procurement for the next phases of the works will get underway later this year and into 2024.
This will focus on the selection of designs and a contractor to rebuild the adjoining two port wharves and the sourcing of dredging equipment for the port.
Mark Peterson acknowledged the funding partners’ commitment to the completion of this project.
He said the port would continue to be mindful of any economic cost inflation pressures with ensuing project phases, and the project would investigate appropriate funding sources if needed.
“However, this first phase gets the ball rolling with the project, allowing a new business operation at the port to generate economic growth, which will show real benefit to our community,” he said.
Wardale confirmed Concrete Structures would start to mobilise to the port site during the month and that further announcements were expected later in the month, prior to the contractor breaking ground and getting underway with the works.
Concrete Structures is a long-established leading pre-cast manufacturing and civil engineering company that has successfully completed a vast range of civil and pre-cast projects across New Zealand.
Te Pūwaha is the first major infrastructure project recognising Te Awa Tupua.
It is a collaborative effort, led by iwi and upheld by project partners Whanganui District Council, Whanganui Port, Horizons Regional Council, Q-West Boat Builders, Te Mata Pūau and the Whanganui District Employment Training Trust (Port Employment Precinct) to create mauri awa [abundance for the river], mauri ora [abundance for the wider ecosystem] and mauri tangata [abundance for whānau, hapū, iwi and the wider Whanganui community].
The total investment in Te Pūwaha is over $50 million, including a $26.75m Government investment managed by Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit.
Te Pūwaha will: enable the local building and maintenance of world-class vessels; retain and create high-value jobs in the marine, engineering and coastal freight sectors; create a platform for unlocking further investment in the port and Whanganui; secure a modern marine precinct and community asset for the next 50 years; and create specialist port-related training through the Port Employment Precinct.
Te Pūwaha would like to acknowledge Te Awa Tupua and its communities, who are integral to the port revitalisation project.
For more information, go to www.whanganuiport.co.nz or follow Te Pūwaha on Facebook.