New crane will allow the port to handle larger container vessels.
The $15 million new Liebherr crane has an expected life of 25 years. It is scheduled to be in operation by July, but the usage to its maximum capacity will not happen for the next 5-7 years.
It's arrival is another step towards meeting the port's strategic goal of accommodating container vessels up to 7,000 TEU’s (twenty feet equivalent unit, which means vessels that can carry up to 7000 containers) in the next few years.
It has been specifically designed to handle the larger 5,000-7,000 TEU container ships. With an outreach of 48 metres, it is capable of handling container ships up to 18 containers wide.
The largest container ships currently plying NZ waters are 13 containers wide.
The decision to invest in the crane is one of a number of initiatives designed to future proof the port's business, according to chief financial officer Steven Grey.
This includes a just completed assessment of the environmental effects of its harbour dredging project, which aims to widen and deepen its harbour channels and sitting basins.
The company’s also recently acquired an additional 13.7 hectares of land to bring the total port area to 185 hectares.