Hawke’s Bay Regional Council said in its latest release that the Napier Port Board has approved the business case for investment in the development of a new wharf – 6 Wharf, subject to funding confirmation.
The business case approved by the Napier Port Board includes an updated estimate of the projected investment required of approximately $170 – $190 million, compared to an initial estimate from the middle of 2018 of approximately $142 million.
The new estimate is based on developed design work undertaken since the council confirmed its in principle support for a financing solution of the port’s capital needs in December.
Chair of the Regional Council, Rex Graham, said that the port has tested the 6 Wharf business case against detailed trade and revenue forecasts, design and engineering standards and resource consent requirements.
“What this does reinforce is the need for external capital for port development as funding 6 Wharf would now be an even bigger hurdle for ratepayers,” said Graham.
“We are fully committed to our original objectives: supporting the port to invest in its growth, de-risking the Council’s investment portfolio, retaining majority ownership and control of the port and protecting ratepayers from port development costs.”
The updated cost of 6 Wharf construction is being built into the final investment case, including updated valuations and financial forecasts, to be considered by the Regional Council in May prior to a final decision on whether to proceed with an IPO.
The new wharf – 350 meters long and 34 meters wide – will be built on piles alongside the existing container terminal.
With separate mooring bollards and additional dredging, it will enable the port to handle vessels up to 360 meters in length and also help ease vessel congestion.