WOOD continues to flow across the wharves at Eastland Port fuelled by demand from overseas buyers and stable prices.

“Commercial forestry has one of the highest yielding returns of all land based industries in New Zealand. Most logs arriving now are from the first rotation. Land owners are replanting trees as quickly as they cut them down ensuring the industry’s sustainability,” says Eastland Port General Manager Andrew Gaddum.

This May 193,012 tonnes of wood was loaded onto nine log vessels and one refrigerated cargo ship took 638 pallets of kiwi fruit away.

This positive trend fuelled by strong development in the Chinese market, as well as the Indian market, gives the port confidence ahead of the recently announced twin berth development project, says Mr Gaddum.

“The nature of a port is that it must change and respond to the needs of regional industry and that is what we are doing.”

Creating the twin berths will cost around $70 million over five years. Funding will come from operational cashflow and borrowings. A large part of the spend will be on repair and maintenance of structures at the end of their design life.

“Sixty to 120-year-old structures have done us proud but eventually even concrete needs replacement.”

“Once the work is completed the port becomes a fantastic long term investment and a modern asset capable of serving the region’s economy well into the future.”