Posted on 11/03/2020

The $20m redevelopment of the Port Nelson’s Main Wharf North is progressing well with the demolition of the old wharf now completed.

The next phase of the project is building the piles for the new concrete and steel berthing facility. Sheet piling behind the wharf will start this week with pile driving scheduled to start in June. The Port expects the piling work to be completed in July and the construction of the new berthing facility will then get underway.

Last month we had some special orca visitors to the harbour. Along with our contractors McConnell Dowell, we take our responsibilities to marine wildlife very seriously and protocols are in place when working in marine environments.

During the project, McConnell Dowell have a dedicated marine mammal observer to ensure the protection of marine mammals and ensure their safety.

Once completed the new section of the main wharf will assist in enabling the Port to attract larger 260 to 270 metre vessels and 300-metre cruise vessels creating growth opportunities for our importers, exporters and the Community.

It will also improve the Port’s resilience, move main wharf operations further away from residential neighbours and enable the Port to accommodate larger vessels.

Port Nelson is a lifeline utility provider under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act and in the event of a natural disaster would be critical during the recovery phase if the region was not accessible by road or air. This redevelopment will ensure the Port can be operating in a limited capacity within days of a disaster.

The Port is committed to being a good neighbour and this redevelopment will help mitigate and reduce the effects of noise generated from Port operations. The additional footprint on the main wharf means ships can be berthed further north and further away from residential properties.

The redevelopment of the Main Wharf North also forms part of a wider programme of works including the purchase of a new 70-ton bollard pull tug, future crane replacement and proposed additional dredging of the harbour channel.  The new section of the wharf will be operational later this year.