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Lyttelton Port defers cruise berth development as cost soars 40%

Friday 2nd March 2012

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Lyttelton Port has deferred plans to build a cruise berth after a review of development projects showed the region’s earthquakes had forced design changes that would drive up the cost by 40 percent.

The Christchurch-based port company first flagged a purpose-built cruise berth facility in 2010, at which time it was costed at $13.7 million. The damage the company sustained from the series of quakes necessitated design changes that lifted the cost of the project to $20 million, it said today.

The port sustained damage from the earthquakes that runs into “hundreds of millions of dollars,” chief executive Peter Davie said in a statement.

Since the quakes rocked Lyttelton’s wharves, some crusie lines had diverted to Akaroa, on the far side of Banks Peninsula.

“Some cruise lines had already decided to continue calling at Akaroa for at least another year anyway given the risk and uncertainty around the completion date for the Lyttelton cruise berth facilities,” Davie said.

The cruise berth project was likely to have missed its deadline of being ready by October and it was doubtful supporting infrastructure “such as roads and parking for coaches and the cruise berth terminal would have been completed by then,” he said.

Shares of the port were unchanged at $2.04 and have gained 2 percent this year.

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