Auckland aims to receive mega-vessels after channel deepening

An image of the Auckland docks

Ports of Auckland has been granted permission to deepen Auckland’s shipping channel as part of its efforts to receive larger vessels and strengthen its place in the global supply chain.

In a statement, Ports of Auckland said the channel will be deepened from 12.5 metres to between 14 metres and 14.2 metres, and this will allow the latest Panamax vessels to call.

Tidal windows will be used to make best use of the natural water depth and keep dredging to a minimum.

Ports of Auckland’s Chief Executive 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 Ports of Auckland said the consent process was “unusual” because asked for the application to be publicly notified even though it was not required, so people could have their say on the project.

Over two hundred submissions were received with the main concern raised being the disposal of dredged material.

Ports of Auckland acknowledges that this is a genuine concern and is committed to working with key submitters to look for ways to reduce or even eliminate the need for sea disposal.

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