The infrastructural works program, ‘Next Generation Port Otago’, is well underway with a number of significant projects at an advanced stage.
This $30 million worth upgrade project will allow larger ships to access Port Chalmers.
To enable deepening of the Port Chalmers Container No 1 berth, a project to drive sheet piles the length of the container wharf has been underway since mid-July 2015. This sheet piling is essentially an underwater retaining wall and is now over 80% complete. The sheet piling is expected to be completed in time for the arrival of twin cruise vessels on 2 November.
In conjunction with the sheet piling, the fenders (rubber buffers) on the container wharf are being updated. This brings the berth up to current international standards for fendering.
Port Otago’s trailer suction dredge New Era has continued its work through the sandy areas of the channel, with work on the stage one approximately 75% complete.
The New Era is currently in Lyttelton undertaking their annual maintenance dredging works and upon its return to Otago Harbor will target the high priority remaining areas of the channel to complete stage one. A channel with a depth of 13.5m is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Heron Construction Ltd is progressing well with the dredging of the rocky points and clay & silt material from the Port Chalmers basin. Work at Rocky Point has been mostly completed, with some very hard rock encountered at Acheron Head still to be removed.
Targeting the highest priority areas in the coming few months will see a depth of 13.5m achieved by the end of 2015, to match the main channel being open for business.