Port Taranaki is a lifeline utility and will continue to operate during the alert Level 4 lockdown as New Zealand fights the spread of COVID-19, chief executive Guy Roper says.
“As a lifeline utility, Port Taranaki will continue to operate as we help ensure New Zealand’s oil and gas industry and agriculture industry provide the energy and food supplies the country needs. This means you’ll still see some ships coming into and out of port,” Mr Roper said.
“Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our staff, their families and that of on-site port users remains critical. To allow essential shipping to continue, we’ll have some staff continuing to work on-site. We are hugely thankful to these dedicated people.
“These staff will continue to use appropriate protection equipment where necessary, will practise social distancing and regular hand washing,” he said.
All Port Taranaki staff who can work from home are now working from home.
“We have been in contact with all our major customers to let them know that Port Taranaki remains open for business to all essential services and we are here to support trade during this challenging time.”
Mr Roper said the port’s Newton King Tanker Terminal (NKTT), which serves the petrochemical industry, needs to operate to assist bulk liquid customers who have been given essential business status during the lockdown. The NKTT handles a wide range of petrochemical products and bulk liquids, including crude oils, LPG and methanol.
“This means we will still have tankers arriving and departing as scheduled from NKTT. We will also have vessels with bulk dry products. This is to service our customers who provide product, including grains, feeds and fertilisers, to support food production, particularly for animals.
“At this stage, the logging industry is awaiting advice from the Government around its status. When a decision is made, we will work through what it means for our logging operations,” Mr Roper said.
Under Government Level 4 status, there will be no shore leave for crews of vessels during the lockdown. Crews will stay on their vessels, except individuals who require medical treatment, or crew that is being transferred to other ships.
The public can view Port Taranaki’s shipping schedule, including ships currently in port and vessels due to arrive here: www.porttaranaki.co.nz/marine/shipping-forecast