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Three-month wait for Lyttelton Port quake costs

Friday 8th October 2010

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Lyttelton Port doesn't expect to know the cost of the 7.1 magnitude Canterbury earthquake for as long as three months, though it will probably exceed initial estimates.  

The South Island's biggest port is operating at full capacity despite suffering significant damage from last month's quake and awaiting conclusions on the repair bill. 

"I would be surprised if it's lower than $50 million, but until that day, we're just guessing," chief executive Peter Davie told BusinessDesk, following release of a status update to the NZX.  

The port had to cancel its proposed merger with the Port of Otago last week to let it focus on repairs sustained by the earthquake and Davie said it could be several years before the foundation earth, which is reclaimed land, settles down from its agitated state.  

Lyttelton Port returned to operational service shortly after the quake struck, with large shipments of coal to be loaded from Pike River Coal and Solid Energy.  

"All the cargo normally going through the port has gone through," Davie said.  

The shares were unchanged at $2.44 in trading today. 

Businesswire.co.nz

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