Northport to open tomorrow for port user maintenance and repair; cargo operations to resume Thursday 16 February
Northport advises that weather conditions in Northland in the wake of ex-tropical cyclone Gabrielle are expected to ease by 2100hrs today, allowing it open to port users from 0700hrs tomorrow (Wednesday 15 February) for the sole purpose of inspection, repairs and machinery maintenance.
The region continues to suffer rolling power and fibre blackouts, and numerous road closures. Freight and shipping operations will not resume until Thursday 16 February, giving the port and port users time to ensure the site is cleared, safe and ready.
Both of the port’s Wave Rider buoys, which lost their moorings in the exceptional swell generated by Storm Gabrielle, have been located and secured. They will be recovered and checked before being returned to position. At this stage the port aims to have them back in operation by Friday 17 February.
The Northland Harbourmaster has instructed that anchorages (outside the harbour, in Bream Bay) will be reopened from 0200hrs tomorrow, and that the harbour will be opened for shipping by 0900hrs on Thursday.
Until the Wave Rider buoys are back in position and operating correctly all vessel transits will be vetted by the Harbourmaster. Deep-draft vessel passage in the harbour will be limited to daylight only and one hour either side of high water. Clearance will be subject to manual calculation as per the NTL Manual of Practices for Pilotage Procedures and allowance will be made for possible siltation and wave measurements by altimeter and met service predictions.
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Northport, situated at Marsden Point at the mouth of Whangarei Harbour, is New Zealand’s northernmost deep-water port. It is a flexible facility catering for large, multi-purpose vessels and full cargo handling facilities are available from its 570 metre linear berth.
Logs, woodchip and processed timber for export comprise the bulk of cargo handled by the port. Recent investment in container handling equipment has seen an uptake in coastal and international container trade. Other export items include kiwifruit, dairy products and manufactured goods. Imports are an important part of Northport’s business and include fertiliser, gypsum, coal and palm kernel.