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Green light for new Marsden Point port

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 13th September 2000

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Construction of the new deepwater port at Marsden Point can go ahead following major agreements on how the port will be owned, operated and built.

The port is to be run through a new company called Northport, which will be jointly owned by the Port of Tauranga and the Northland Port Corporation.

NPC chairman, Mike Daniel, says initial capital will total $30 million and will be subscribed by the shareholders on a 50:50 basis.

"Northport will purchase assets at valuation from NPC to undertake the project. These assets include resource consents, floating plant, navigational aids and approximately 15 hectares of land. Northport will also take over the port operations at the Port of Whangarei on completion of the new facility at Marsden Point in April 2002

Carter Holt Harvey will be taking a one-third stake in a company called Northport Services, which will provide on-wharf services at the port.

Mr Daniel says the economic viability of the new facility has been improved in the initial years of operation as a result of Carter Holt Harvey signing an agreement guaranteeing to pay for throughput of one million tonnes of forest products each year.

"In consideration for providing this throughput agreement Carter Holt Harvey is to take a shareholding in the company that will provide the 'on wharf' services at the new port. Northport Services is a joint venture, in which Northport has a 66.7% interest and Carter Holt Harvey a 33.3% interest. It will provide a complete service from weighing the incoming forest products on entry to the new port through to loading of the ship."

Mr Daniel says construction will begin in October, with the first general cargo berth scheduled to be completed by April 2002, when exports from the new facility should start.

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