The development of a Kawerau container terminal has taken another leap forward with the announcement of the terminal's preferred operator – international port logistics company, ISO Ltd.
A container terminal in Kawerau has been identified as a significant growth opportunity for the town, as well as for the wider region, and its feasibility has been supported through the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Economic Action Plan.
The Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Economic Action Plan identifies and supports a range of short to mid-term opportunities (0-10 years) that could assist in increasing investment, employment and incomes across the wider Bay of Plenty region.
It is facilitated by the Bay of Connections locally, working alongside central government.
The Bay of Connections, central government, Kawerau District Council, Scion, Whakatane District Council and others supported a research project into the viability of the potential container terminal. The research confirmed significant savings to industry and an improvement in supply chain efficiency to market.
Bay of Connections portfolio manager Cheryl Lewis, speaking on behalf of the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Economic Action Plan, says while the announcement is extremely positive news for Kawerau, the terminal's development also has a flow on effect for the wider region.
“The research found that the inland port would improve supply chain efficiency and that 88 per cent of containers would be better off on rail when travelling to the Port of Tauranga,” says Cheryl.
“For the most likely case, using the container terminal and train from Kawerau could save $100-150 per container.
“The economic impact would equate to an estimated saving of between $1.85 million and $2.77 million per year for various industry sectors – savings which would likely be redirected to growing businesses and increasing incomes and jobs.
“It also showed social benefits, environmental benefits with the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by as much as five to six thousand tonnes per annum, improved road safety and a decrease in highway maintenance costs, with 80 fewer trucks a day on State Highway 2.
“The benefits to the wider region are undeniable, and it's a great example of the region working together, along with government, to help progress a regional economic development initiative. It's extremely exciting to see the project progress to the next stage.”