Maintenance dredging at Northport
4 January 2019
Maintenance dredging will take place at Northport next week for the first time in 17 years. Work to remove sediment build-up in the ship turning basin near Snake Bank, along Northport’s linear berth and at Refining NZ’s Jetty 1 berth pocket will start on 7 January and continue for most of the month.
Northport stressed that the work has nothing to do with either its vision for growth, unveiled earlier this year, or Refining NZ’s channel deepening programme.
“The operation will be highly visible so we wanted to head off at the pass any concerns that it has anything to do with either of those projects,” said Jon Moore, chief executive of Northport Ltd.
“It is purely to bring the depth of these operational areas at the harbour entrance back down to consented levels.”
The work will be undertaken by Dutch Dredging NZ using a specialist trailing suction hopper dredger, the Albatros, which has been brought up to Whangarei Harbour from Nelson.
Northport is asking boaties to give the dredging operation a wide berth. The Albatros will be displaying the international navigation day shapes for a vessel engaged in dredging operations and restricted in its ability to manoeuvre; ball, diamond, ball and two black balls at the side on which vessels must not pass. The vessel will only be operating during daylight hours.
Albatros will be pumping dredging spoil ashore at the western end of Northport’s linear berth. Some of this material will be used by Northport as landfill for its existing southwest development project.
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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.