New Zealand’s South Port has contracted Heron Construction Company Ltd to free the port entrance channel from fragmented rock remaining from previous dredging campaigns.
The work will be carried out under an existing coastal permit already issued by Environment Southland under the Resource Management Act, said the port in a recent statement.
The channel underwent blasting works in the 1980s; rock sediments have remained since as engineering limitations at the time made it impossible to retrieve them.
Fractured rock is a potential impediment to planned future capital dredging operations, which are the subject of a current resource consent application as revealed by the port.
The proposed six-week clearance work does not include any blasting activity.
Dredging is expected to commence between 15 and 21 August and be completed towards the end of September.
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The dredging plant will remain stationary while in operation, therefore South Port does not anticipate major disruptions on commercial or recreational users of the channel.
The South Port Marine Team will manage access to the channel for larger vessels coming into port, with the dredging plant relocating outside the channel boundary to allow ships to navigate safely.
A further capital dredging proposal, which is likely to include rock breaking and blasting, is scheduled to commence within the next 24 months.
Back in 2014, South Port added new Liebherr mobile harbour cranes to its equipment fleet.