For the past 12 weeks, locals and visitors to Lyttelton Port had the opportunity to see one of the world’s largest dredges, the Fairway, travelling up and down the channel carrying out the port’s deepening project.
Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) announced yesterday that on the weekend she left Lyttelton bound for Singapore, as her role in the dredging project is complete.
The Fairway has lengthened the channel by approximately 2.5km, widened it by 20 meters and deepened it by up to two meters.
LPC Chief Executive, Peter Davie, said: “We know Canterbury freight volumes are forecast to double in the next 15 years, and container ships have doubled in size in the last ten years. We are thrilled the Channel Deepening Project is nearly complete and we are now able to accommodate larger vessels.”
“The dredging project, alongside our current reclamation of Te Awaparahi Bay which is part of our long-term plan to move Container Terminal operations to the east away from the community, gives our customers confidence their growing cargo requirements will be met.”
Peter Davie also added that a lot of hard work had gone into making the dredging project successful, paying tribute to the Fairway’s crew members and two captains – Captain Ton van Oosten and Captain Marco de Bruin.
The Fairway – owned by global operator Royal Boskalis – has 33 crew working six-week rotations to keep dredging the channel 24/7. She has dredged more than five million cubic meters of mud and silt off the sea floor.
With the Channel Deepening Project nearing completion, LPC will implement the most significant upgrade to navigation aids at the port in 35 years. The upgrade will ensure the Harbor’s navigation aids are up to a modern and international standard.