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$20M price tag for POA dredging

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 1st December 2000

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Ports of Auckland (NZSE: POA) expects to spend more than $20 million on dredging in preparation for the arrival of larger container ships at the port in two years time.

The port says deepening of the shipping lane in Rangitoto Channel is required because global shipping trends show that in the future it will need to accommodate international container ships that are a third or more larger than any of the current regular callers to New Zealand ports.

The company's largest shipping line customer, P&O Nedlloyd, has announced it will deploy bigger ships on the route linking Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand from 2002.

The ships will have a deeper draught than existing vessels calling in New Zealand and at current channel depths could face a wait up to five hours outside the Rangitoto Channel over low tide, which POA says would add a large cost to ship calls.

Providing the depth required would involve dredging areas within the 7km commercial shipping lane in the Rangitoto Channel and could take between one and two years. The port says it will begin public consultation in preparation for lodging a resource consent application for the work.

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