New Zealand: Ports Alliance Set to Transform South Canterbury Economy

An exciting joint venture between PrimePort Timaru and Port of Tauranga creates the opportunity to deliver huge benefits to the community and transform trading opportunities for the South Canterbury region, says port chairman Roger Gower.

The agreement, which remains subject to local community consultation, will have far‐reaching positive economic and social impacts for the region, Mr Gower says.

Key elements of this transaction are:

– Port of Tauranga will acquire a 50% shareholding of PrimePort Timaru to become the joint venture partner with Timaru District Holdings Ltd (TDHL);

– TDHL will acquire full ownership of the investment property at the Port;

– Port of Tauranga will operate the container terminal under a long term lease arrangement.

Other elements of the transaction mean that the current minority owner, Port Industry Holdings Ltd (PIHL), will sell all shares, and Port of Tauranga will buy the container terminal assets, including the cranes and forklifts.

The amount paid by Port of Tauranga for the 50% stake in PrimePort and the container assets, but excluding the investment property, will be $21.6 million. PrimePort will still manage and operate all aspects of the Port, including breakbulk such as logs, fertiliser, fuel and all marine services. The only exception is the container terminal, which will be leased and operated by Port of Tauranga.

Port of Tauranga is currently dredging its facilities to make them big enough for a new generation of larger container vessels.

This is a first step in a pathway for all central South Island exporters to connect directly with a far greater range of shipping services offered by Tauranga, enhanced by the frequency and personalised service of a local port. It is a win‐win‐win proposal that will deliver a huge boost to the business sector and wider community,” Mr Gower says. “It opens possibilities for more jobs, increased trading volumes and significant growth for our port and partners. “The port is in the prime South Island location, and it is in close proximity to the largest area of irrigated agricultural land in New Zealand, the second largest dairy processing plant in the world, and in a region that is growing almost twice as fast as the average in New Zealand.”

Press Release, August 13, 2013

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