The arrival at Port Taranaki today of a shipment of blades for the Turitea wind farm in Manawatū marks the end of a busy year of support for the development of two key renewable energy projects in the lower and central North Island.
The BBC America has arrived at Port Taranaki carrying eighty-one 54.9m blades for Mercury’s under-construction Turitea wind farm, and follows a February shipment of 99 blades for the project.
As with the first shipment, the blades will be unloaded, moved and stored at Port Taranaki, before being transported by specialised heavy haulage vehicles to Palmerston North.
During the year, Port Taranaki also received and stored four shipments of components for Tilt Renewables’ Waipipi wind farm in South Taranaki. In total, ninety-three 64m blades, 31 hubs, and 31 towers arrived at the port for the Waipipi project.
“We’ve been delighted to be able to support these important and large energy projects in Taranaki and Manawatū,” Port Taranaki head of commercial Ross Dingle said.
“We are working to diversify the products and trade that come across our berths to ensure we are profitable and sustainable for the region in the long term, and wind farm componentry is one such opportunity.
“It is a unique and interesting cargo, which has allowed us to showcase our at-berth facilities, our lifting capabilities, the skills and expertise of our staff, and the large storage areas we have at Port Taranaki,” he said.
“We are thrilled our abilities have been recognised as being of a very high standard and a great fit for this cargo.”
The vessels dock at Blyde Wharf, which has heavy lift pads that can support the cargo. A combination of ship’s cranes and the port’s twin mobile harbour cranes lift the components off the ships and onto heavy haulage vehicles, which transport the components to the Eastern Reclamation and other storage areas.
Mr Dingle said supporting the wind farm project work aligned with New Zealand’s move towards a low-emissions environment, and demonstrated Port Taranaki had an important role to play in providing services and facilities to assist with that shift.
“Oil and gas remains our key trade cargo by volume, and we believe gas still has an important part to play in the transition to a low-emissions environment. As a key transport and logistics provider and community asset, it is our responsibility to support companies and industry in the transition,” Mr Dingle said.
The BBC America will be in port until Monday, 5 October.