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Lyttelton Port to spend $16m on equipment to handle record container numbers

Friday 7th June 2013

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Lyttelton Port Co., the South Island's biggest port, plans to spend more than $16 million on equipment to help it handle a record numbers of containers.

The port, adjacent to New Zealand's second-largest city of Christchurch, commissioned Liebherr Container Cranes to manufacture a fourth ship-to-shore gantry crane and four diesel electric straddle carriers for delivery in the latter half of 2014, the company said in a statement.

Lyttelton Port, which is benefiting from the loss of container services at rival Timaru PrimePort and increased materials needed for the rebuilding of earthquake damaged Christchurch, expects to handle a record 350,000 containers in the year ending June 30, up from 330,000 last year.

"The company's strong performance is proof of the continued underlying strength of the Canterbury economy which has continued to generate strong growth in exports and imports," chief executive Peter Davie said. "Lyttelton Port is committed to supporting the Canterbury economy by providing facilities, plant and staffing to meet this ongoing growth in trade."

Shares in Lyttelton Port, which is 79.3 percent owned by the local government's Christchurch City Holdings, were unchanged at $2.95, having gained 47 percent this year.

Prime Minister John Key last month said the Christchurch council could partly sell its stakes in the local port, airport or power companies to help fund earthquake projects. The government increased its contribution to earthquake rebuilding in Christchurch by $2 billion to $15 billion in April after revising the estimated cost upwards from $30 billion to $40 billion.

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