The physical landscape of Port Taranaki is changing as it builds for the future and adapts to evolving trade.
In the past year, Port Taranaki has exited the container sector and focused on the growing aspects of its business – logs, bulk dry products and bulk liquids.
To ensure these customers’ needs are met in the longer term, the port has been investing heavily in repurposing assets and clearing areas of under-utilised or old property to allow for greater on-site storage space or future development.
“We’ve got high-value infrastructure that you have to be thinking about for the next 10-20 years ahead,” Port Taranaki’s head of infrastructure Mark Webb says.
“So it’s important we get real about what we are facing in the future, adapt to changing business requirements and address the use of our infrastructure.”
Chief among the changes is the demolition of the cold store on Blyde Wharf – a building that was a key asset during container operations, storing chilled and frozen products for the dairy and poultry industries.
The removal of the 24,000 tonne capacity store will be followed by the resurfacing of the area to make it suitable for log storage. Once complete, the area, which is just metres from the berth, will accommodate 12,500 JAS – crucial extra space for the port’s log business that grew by 42% in the past financial year.
“There’s been quite a lot of work involved to make this happen,” Mark says. “It’s a very important project as it will allow more efficient and effective throughput of our increasing log business, and is part of our long-term focus to increase trade.
“The log trade is booming and this is expected to continue in the medium to longer term, so we want to ensure we have the berth-side facilities that support efficient customer supply chains.”
The dry bulk business has also grown, resulting in the need for extra storage space for a customer, who was based in the Moturoa Store. In response, Port Taranaki has repurposed the Craig Norgate Store, which was originally built to house milk products, by adding a 170mm reinforced concrete layer to the existing 12,000sqm floor. This enables the floor to support higher point loading machinery, such as front end loaders.
“With the discontinuation of animal feed storage at the Moturoa Store, we will look at repurposing options and make it fit-for-purpose for the future,” Mark says.
In addition, the port’s former rope shed building has been removed, which will be followed by the demolition of another old building alongside. This will allow for future development of the land and facilities.
“There are a lot of changes taking place here and we are investing a lot in our future,” Mark says.
“It’s a collaborative effort with our customers – there’s compromise on both sides – and that engagement is vital as we work to ensure the sustainability and profitability of our business and that of our customers.”