New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland has received consent to deepen the shipping channel of Auckland to receive larger ships.
With the permission, the channel will be deepened from the existing 12.5m to between 14m and 14.2m.
It will enable larger container ships such as the 366m-long New Panamax vessels to enter Auckland’s port, which is expected to safeguard important Auckland international supply lines.
The port plans to use the tidal window to maximise the use of the natural water depth and reduce dredging.
Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson said: “The Covid-19 lockdown highlighted the essential role Auckland’s port plays in the economy. A deeper channel will ensure Auckland’s port can continue that essential role for decades.
“By allowing larger ships to reach the port, it will also reduce carbon emissions and the cost of transporting Auckland’s freight.”
The consent process was unusual as the Port of Auckland requested to have the application publicly notified though it was not required, so people could have their say on the project.
The port received more than 200 submissions that highlighted the main concern to be the dredged material disposal.
Ports of Auckland has acknowledged it to be a genuine concern and plans to work with important submitters to explore ways to decrease or eliminate the need for sea disposal.
Last August, Ports of Auckland signed a contract with Dutch company Damen Shipyards to purchase a fully electric ship-handling tug.
In 2018, Ports of Auckland signed a software service level agreement (SLA) with Konecranes for its new automated straddle carriers.