With so much happening at Port Taranaki at the moment, Operations and Infrastructure Manager Alistair Simmers has little chance of being bored.
Alistair gives readers a brief update on recent developments. Refurbishment of the tank farm at 283 Centennial Drive has started. Port Taranaki acquired the terminal in December and, once upgraded, it will be leased to BP. There is a pipeline that will also be refurbished and modernised to provide a connection to Newton King Tanker Terminal (NKTT).
Wellington firm Aurecon is doing the design work for us and finalising the scope before we go out to tender for the work. It needs a new truck-loading gantry, a new control system, some new tank-gauging systems and we need to overhaul pumps and valves.
The system hasn’t been used since 2010 so it hasn’t been maintained for a while and it needs to be brought up to current legal and industry standards. We knew we’d have to refurbish it because of its age. It’ll be good for the community as it will get tankers off the road. At the moment all petrol is trucked into the region.
There is also refurbishment taking place under NKTT. The terminal is a concrete structure and that doesn’t last forever, particularly in marine conditions. Chlorides from the sea get into the concrete and start the rusting process. To address that, we’re spending $1.5 million a year for the next three years. There are three stages to it and we plan to complete one stage every year. Basically we’ll have teams getting under the wharves and giving them a jolly good tidy up, blasting off the damaged concrete, cleaning up the reinforcing bar and packing the concrete back in again.
A pipe support replacement programme has also started at NKTT. Pace Engineering is demolishing some of the old pipe supports so we can replace the old corroding ones with new ones. Salt water gets into the paint and starts working away at the steel so the new supports we’re putting in will be galvanised and painted for extra protection. That will take us to August to complete.
Finally, there is a new traffic management system and roundabout in operation. Port users will have noticed a whole bunch of new road markings. Traffic safety has often come up as a concern, because there were hardly any markings. So we’ve defined the roadways and constructed two new roundabouts. They will help ease the flow of traffic and reinforce the normal road rules that apply at the Port as well.