The Port of Tauranga is about to begin a 170 metre extension to the wharf at Sulphur Point.
The port company's directors have approved the estimate $30 million expansion to allow the accommodation of more frequent port calls from longer container ships.
Port of Tauranga.
The port company already has resource consent for the expansion. Construction is expected to begin mid-year and take two years to complete, says Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns.
An Environment Court hearing will be held in April regarding Port of Tauranga's application to widen and deepen the harbour channels to accommodate larger ships.
The Sulphur Point wharf decision was announced today as part of the Port of Tauranga's record half yearly result.
The interim result is a half year group net profit of $28.398 million; an improvement of 23 per cent on the prior corresponding period.
The increased profit follows an 18 per cent increase in trade volumes, with exports up 13 per cent and imports up 29 per cent on the corresponding period last year.
Notable cargo increases included; fertiliser up 150 per cent, stock feed supplements up 74 per cent, log exports up 15 per cent, and container numbers up 23 per cent.
Excellent performances across all business divisions and associate/subsidiary companies, including recently-acquired Tapper Transport, contributed to the improved profit says Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns
'We are very pleased with the seamless incorporation of Tapper Transport into the Group, says Mark.
'We are already reaping the benefits of further integrating into the supply chain with our recent announcement of the MetroPack initiative.”
MetroPack is a joint venture between Port of Tauranga, Tapper Transport and another associate, C3 Limited, to establish a container packing and unpacking business adjacent to the inland port MetroPort in South Auckland. MetroPack has just commenced business with Carter Holt Harvey as its foundation customer.
Railed container volumes between Tauranga and MetroPort Auckland increased 56 per cent over the half year. Trans-shipment volumes increased by 64 per cent in the second half of 2010, due to several unscheduled ship diversions and also the further development of hubbing on Tauranga.
Ship departures increased 12 per cent compared to the prior corresponding period.
The full year result is at this stage expected to be in the range of $53-56 million, says Board chairman John Parker
'We expect improved confidence to remain in the dairy sector, positively impacting on fertiliser and stock feed supplement imports - and also in log exports, with log volumes being driven by strong demand from China,” says John.
'However, we expect the domestic economy to be slower to recover.”
The company's long-term diversification strategy will continue to provide a variety of earnings growth opportunities which coupled with the company's strong balance sheet, should help protect the company from the slow recovery and volatility in some trade areas, says John.
Port of Tauranga is New Zealand's largest and most efficient port with an annual cargo throughput of more than 14 million tonnes.