Port Otago expects to announce its new dredging programme to become big-ship capable within three months.
This follows the recent disclosure of the Port of Tauranga's pioneering 10-year alliance with Fonterra logistics company Kotahi, and Maersk Line, which will help underwrite Tauranga's own big-ship dredging programme.
Port of Otago CEO Geoff Plunket said: “We're the deepest container port in New Zealand as it stands, so we've got a head start on everyone.”
Plunket added: “We plan to do the deepening in stages in line with commercial demand.”
The port's dredge was currently on an out-of-port contract, but would become available again in about three months, by which time the port expected to have finalised its dredging plans.
Port of Tauranga CEO Mark Cairns said: “As a result of the alliance, there's more certainty of revenue streams, which allows us the confidence to begin the first stage of the dredging project.”
Michael Knowles, chairman of the NZ Shippers Council, said: “All the forecasts show that we need four major ports to become big-ship capable. The only thing we would say is that we don't want to see a lessening of competition.”