Wednesday 18th July 2018
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New Zealand Refining has been granted resource consent to dredge Whangarei Harbour by the Northland Regional Council, something it says will let larger crude cargoes of around 1 million barrels to be shipped to Marsden Point.
In the decision published on its website, the Northland Regional Council outlined a series of conditions. "We record that the conclusions we reached on adverse effects, and our subsequent decision to grant the application, rely heavily on the applicant fully complying with these conditions," it said.
The 138 conditions include, among others, lodging a noise management plan at least one month prior to beginning the dredging and a marine mammal management plan. Both must be prepared independently.
The company said it is "currently reviewing the detailed consent conditions proposed by the panel and may have more to say once this process has been completed." The project is expected to cost $37 million, according to the document.
The consenting process has involved significant independent studies and consultation over the past five years.
The refinery’s customers are currently only able to import 600,000-to-700,000 barrels of crude oil monthly rather than a tanker's full capacity of 1 million barrels because the heavier load risks the tanker hitting the channel bottom. Being able to make fewer, but fully laden trips would save money.
New Zealand Refining shares closed at $2.48 and have shed 6.4 percent this year.
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