Ports of Auckland has released a draft of its 30-year master plan which outlines a range of projects needed for the port until it is relocated.
The draft plan can be viewed on a newly launched website, at www.masterplan.poal.co.nz.
“Our owner, Auckland Council, is undertaking a project to find a new port location,” said Tony Gibson, chief executive of Ports of Auckland. “But shifting a port takes time. Finding the best location, getting consent, securing funding and undertaking construction will take decades. In the meantime, we need to ensure that we can continue to deliver freight for importers, exporters and Aucklanders.”
According to Gibson, the draft takes into account what the port’s stakeholders and Aucklanders want and need from the port’s operations in Waitematā Harbour. The plan provides transparency and certainty about what needs to be done, creating space for freight and giving Auckland Council the time it needs to make a sound decision on where, when and how to move the port.
“Auckland’s population is growing and Ports of Auckland needs to adapt to keep pace,” he said. “Our master plan outlines all the projects that we will need to undertake until such time as the port is relocated. It includes the automation of the container terminal, completion of a deepwater terminal berth and installation of three new cranes. This work, along with other projects outlined in the plan, will provide us with additional capacity in our container terminal to serve a population of up to 5 million – three times the number of people living in Auckland today.”
The plan includes an increase in berth space, with a proposal to build a new wharf running East-West along the north end of Bledisloe Terminal. In line with the port’s commitment to no further reclamation, this will be a piled structure but will reach an extra 13 metres into the harbour. Three redundant wharves will also be brought back into use, creating nearly a kilometre of new general cargo berth space.
“We want Aucklanders to be proud of their port, and for the projects outlined in our plan to create a legacy,” said Gibson. “We’ve tried to develop a plan that fairly reflects the feedback we've received and also balances sometimes divergent wants and needs. We’ve had to make some compromises, but we are confident the proposed plan will ensure we can continue to serve Auckland’s growing population.”
He added that the port will need to start applying for consents for some of the more urgent projects soon.
The port recently ordered three new container cranes for its new deepwater container berth at the north end of Fergusson container terminal. The cranes are due to be delivered towards the end of 2018 and, together with other improvement projects, are expected to increase the port’s annual capacity from 900,000 TEUs to approximately 1.6-1.7 million TEUs.