Port Taranaki has joined with four other port companies in a 10-year contract that will see a dredge permanently stationed in New Zealand.
A tender for the maintenance dredging contract was issued jointly by Port Taranaki and the ports at Napier, Tauranga, Lyttelton and Timaru. The successful applicant, Dutch Dredging, has been contracted to deploy one of its trailing suction hopper dredges Albatros for the task. The contract begins in September 2017 and the dredge will remain in New Zealand for the duration of the contract.
Port Taranaki head of commercial Allan Melhuish said Taranaki, Timaru and Tauranga already had a long-standing combined dredging contract with New Zealand Dredging and General Works, owned by Dutch company Van Oord, but that contract was coming to an end.
“We’ve worked together for 30 years sharing the services of the dredge Pelican. The Pelican is nearing the end of its life and the current contract is due to expire in October 2017, so we needed to go to market,” Mr Melhuish said.
“Lyttelton and Napier have come onboard as well, as there is not enough maintenance dredging for each port to have a dredge on a fulltime basis. This helps to spread the costs.”
Maintenance dredging takes place at Port Taranaki every two years and is due again in February 2017. Port Taranaki will use the Pelican for that work and will use the new dredge in the next cycle, in the first quarter of 2019.
Mr Melhuish said the ports would meet annually to determine each port’s dredging requirements and work out a schedule. The dredge would remain at the port where it was last used until it was required at another port.
“We’re very happy with the contract and it’s great that the five ports can collaborate to minimise costs,” Mr Melhuish said.
The contract was signed in Auckland on Wednesday (November 9) in the presence of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and the Dutch and New Zealand Ministers of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp and Steven Joyce.
Dutch Dredging is a medium-sized dredging company based in Sliedrecht, the Netherlands. Its activities centre on dredging and performing surveying and other marine-related operations. The family business has been in existence for more than 50 years and has expanded in that time to become an organisation with 150 employees and 30 vessels.
Port Taranaki chairman John Auld (second from right) joins other representatives from New Zealand port companies and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands for the signing of a joint dredging contract with Dutch Dredging.