After years of development and months of construction, Napier Port has welcomed the very first container vessel to berth at its new 350-metre 6 Wharf.
The CMA CGM Marlin, measuring 294.05-metres long with a 32.2-metre beam (width), was safely piloted into Napier Port at approximately 9am on Saturday, 18 June and berthed at 6 Wharf.
Napier Port CEO Todd Dawson commented, “It’s certainly a sight that has been many years and an immeasurable amount of planning and hard work in the making – a container ship piloted and berthed safely at 6 Wharf. The CMA CGM Marlin is only a few centimetres short of being the longest container ship calling to Napier Port, so it is fitting that she was the first ship to test our newest berth and our MoorMaster infrastructure.”
6 Wharf is long enough, and the new 13m berth pocket is deep enough, to handle the larger ships arriving in New Zealand in the future. Once officially opened next month (Friday, 22 July 2022), the new wharf will provide increased shipping capacity, improve the availability and operational performance across all of Napier Port’s wharves.
“The new wharf not only future-proofs Hawke’s Bay’s regional growth, it also opens up further growth opportunities and shipping options for cargo owners and customers across the central and lower North Island,” continued Dawson.
To build 6 Wharf and welcome bigger ships, Napier Port needed to create a new vessel turning area and deepen parts of the harbour.
The two-year capital dredging programme included safe removal of approximately 1.2 million cubic metres of dredged material. This created a new berth pocket alongside 6 Wharf and a larger swinging basin (where ships turn), as well as deepened parts of the inner harbour and the shipping channel closest to the port.