Lyttelton Channel Ready for Use

The project to deepen, widen and lengthen the Lyttelton Harbor’s shipping channel is now complete and ready for use, the New Zealand’s Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) said in its latest release. 

The trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Fairway wrapped up the project late last year, and now twenty-two new navigation aids see Lyttelton become one of the country’s leading ports with this state-of-the-art system, LPC announces.

According to LPC Chief Executive, Peter Davie, the new system will improve the safety of all commercial shipping movements within the harbor and allow larger and deeper draught container ships to call at Lyttelton: “Container ships have doubled in size over the last 10 years and the trend toward bigger ships continues. We have enlarged the existing shipping channel to provide access to larger ships and support Lyttelton’s future as the South Island’s major international trade gateway.”

The container terminal’s maximum draught is now 13.3 meters at Cashin Quay 2 and 3 East.

The old main channel leading light was in the hills above Governors Bay. The new sector light is now six kilometers closer to the end of the channel and will be much more visible during misty and drizzly conditions,” added Davie.

“In addition to all the physical structures, computer generated virtual marks will appear on the screens of vessels using electronic charts or chart plotters equipped with an AIS receiver. These marks show the position of the Pilot boarding area off Godley Head, the edge of the channel and the limits of the dredged swinging basin off Cashin Quay.

“Using virtual marks reduces the number of buoys required to be placed in the Harbour and also reduces the risk of recreational boaties running into them, as there is nothing there,” concluded Davie.