Contact us on feedback at twinberth dot nz if you have other questions.
The development of various parts of the port including the slipway and wharves to allow berthing and simultaneous loading of two 200m long log vessels. Development includes rebuilding wharf 6 and 7, reshaping the slipway, extending wharf 8, required reclamation, breakwater maintenance, and dredging.
Eastland Port needs to start getting ready for the huge amount of wood coming out of our forests. We can handle 3 million tonnes of wood per year but we need to be able to handle more than 5 million tonnes. We also want to future-proof the port for coastal shipping and new international trade and exports. We need some moderate development in order to keep up, including more space to store logs and other cargo, stronger wharves to handle logs, and space to park two 200m long ships at the port at the same time.
To meet the challenges of increased volumes of wood we have looked differently at how we work to see if the need for reclamation and capital dredging can be avoided. Clearly our preference would be not to have to do it if there was a choice. We’ve become more efficient by doing things like doubling our ship loading rates over the past 10 years and stacking wood more efficiently. For example, we will soon have a full complement of seven-metre high log storage bookends on the port to save space on log storage. We have started taking down sheds we no longer use, and continue to utilise our log storage areas at Matawhero. We believe we can handle the wood that’s coming in 2019 but unfortunately, efficiency alone is not enough.
Development funding will come from operational cashflow and borrowings. We expect it to cost the majority of the port’s planned spend of $70 million over the next five years. In time the investment will pay for itself.
A 2013 forestry industry economic impact for this region showed the forestry sector is an employer of similar size to manufacturing, construction, health and business services combined. Significant economic flows are associated with wood production, harvest, transport, port handling and processing activities and the expenditure of wages and other forestry income. Backwards and forward linkages generate a multiplier of 2.7 and result in additional activity estimated to contribute a further $383 million annually to the regional economy. To put it more simply, there is a circular flow of income and spending from forestry. Everything is connected and everyone benefits. A well-resourced 24-hour port is crucial to the process. It is also worth remembering Eastland Port has a wide range of uses as well as for log export, including squash, kiwifruit and cruise ships.
Yes. Log carrier ships, also known as handymax ships, are typically 150–200m in length and at the moment we can only berth one at a time at wharf 8. We’re also seeing cruise ships get bigger. Five years ago the average cruise vessel was in the region of 260m whereas now it’s around 290m. We want to be able to berth cruise ships up to 200m in length. We also want to future-proof the port for container ships and other break bulk cargo ships. (Break bulk cargo is anything that’s not shipped in a container; grain or fertilizer for example.)
We haven’t had to turn away anything to date but at the moment we haven’t got room to berth the larger log vessels currently being built, or other cargo ships wanting to berth here. Sometimes up to three ships will be seen anchoring in Poverty Bay while they wait for room to berth. Waiting adds to costs and is not ideal.
No, not yet, but that too is a risk if we don’t invest in the twin berth development plans and future proof the port. At the moment the entire East Coast forestry industry relies on the single log berth at wharf 8. We do have extra storage capacity at our Matawhero storage yard but it still isn’t enough for the future predicted volumes of wood.
Space for log storage and operations is an ongoing challenge and one of the main drivers for the twin berth development project. In a perfect world we would be able to store all logs on-port and not have a need for off-port storage. When looking at off-site wood storage, it’s important to remember the added handling costs incurred by exporters and increased truck movements – even if the logs are stored off site they still need to be stored on the port before they are loaded on the ship. The port is always trying to strike the balance between on-site and off-site storage but it is a complicated equation.
Eastland Port is part of regional infrastructure company Eastland Group. Eastland Group’s position on the railway line has always been that if it was economic it would use it, but unfortunately it isn’t. Eastland Group is a commercial entity focused on making an economic profit, which means it won’t invest in non-commercial opportunities. The railway, without some level of subsidisation, cannot operate. Eastland Group, Government and the Council on behalf of local ratepayers, have said that they won’t subsidise it. The challenge for those who support rail is to develop a business case that allows the railway to operate in a way that is self-sufficient.
The port is a regionally significant transport asset for this district and so to do nothing is not an option. We need to make capital improvements to ensure the port continues to provide the services we all need now and into the future. We need to ensure that the value of product produced here: trees, wood, processed products and other cargo, can be maximised for the continued economic growth and well-being of the district, and national and international export markets. Expansion and investment in a second 200m long berth will lead to flow-on employment opportunities that might not occur if we don’t do it now.
The turning circle within Eastland Port defines the size of vessels that can be piloted into the harbor and berthed. As this is not going to increase, a 200m long cruise ship will remain the largest we can berth at Eastland Port. The advantage offered by the twin berth development will be an increased service level for cruise ships. Having two 200m long berths means we could berth a cruise ship and a log ship at the same time, maybe even two cruise ships on the same day.
We have trialled this on a simulator. It requires a very calm sea and wind conditions in order it can be done safely. Our channel is 90 metres wide. The Golden Princess as an example is 36 metres wide and very high, so she catches a lot of wind, leaving little room for error.
We’ve split the twin berth development into three resource consent applications to Gisborne District Council. The first resource consent granted is for rebuilding wharf 6 and 7 and reshaping the slipway. The second resource application is to dredge. The third resource consent application is to extend wharf 8, required reclamation, and breakwater repairs. The time taken to process applications and approve or otherwise, is set down by the Resource Management Act process and can take quite a few months.
The process for getting consent is designed to ensure the availability of reliable information about the environmental effects of construction and the resulting structures and their uses. It’s intended to enable those with an interest in the development to question and comment on any parts of the application information and have their concerns addressed.
The port will be undertaking studies to model the noise impact of construction and operation of the expanded wharfs. This, the other technical assessments and reports, and our consultation discussions, will all help to shape the final resource consent application.
Land reclamation creates new land and is most often done on coastal margins. First, a wall is made from large boulders or pre-formed concrete structures, to form the edge of the land being reclaimed. Then, the space is filled up with rock and sand. Reclaimed land needs time to settle for two or three years before the appropriate surface, in this case asphalt, is added. During the settling period it will look like a gravel road and will be used by the port.
Eastland Port would like to reclaim two hectares of 2.5 rugby fields of land between the seawall and the breakwater.
Inevitably sea life and marine habitat will be lost beneath the footprint of the reclamation. Investigations are currently under way to assess the sea life and marine habitat affected and options for mitigating effects (such as optimising the new seawall and breakwater design for crayfish settlement). The footprint of marine habitat affected is relatively small and some of it is already man-made like the intertidal areas of the seawall and breakwater. Preliminary scientific investigations indicate the sea life is common and the location does not include habitat or species of particular ecological or scientific value. The area is also not accessible to the public in any practicable sense and kaimoana collection or other uses of the Kaiti shoreline will be unaffected.
Our wharves need to be able to handle the millions of tonnes of logs a year expected. We need more channel depth, wharf strength and space to do that. To be more precise, once two ships can berth at wharf 8 simultaneously, we will need a new area from which to load from, and more space to store the logs ready for export. And for that, the only reasonable solution is moderate expansion.
While this isn’t out of the question, worldwide artificial surf breaks in an ocean environment have not been very successful. As the port moves into detailed design for the reclamation, wave modelling will be undertaken and there may be an opportunity at this time to see if the design could cost effectively incorporate design elements that could potentially cause a wave to break off the structure.
Technical, cultural and scientific studies are underway to identify possible impacts of the project, but based on what we already know, the works should be able to be undertaken without significant adverse effects.
Once we get the port to this next stage we think we have a piece of infrastructure that will support the needs of the region into the future. However, the nature of the port is that it is a barometer for the region’s economy and as such, further development including reclamation to support the region’s export requirements, cannot be ruled out.
The port has an ongoing programme of regular maintenance dredging around its wharves and the harbour so that berths and the shipping channel stay at the required and gazetted depths. We are planning to expand the area of this dredging inside the port area and to the shoulders of the harbour basin to facilitate the extra space required to safely manoeuvre and berth larger ships and the additional berth. Dredging areas not previously dredged or dredging to new deeper depths is called capital dredging and is distinct from maintenance dredging for which Eastland Port already has resource consent.
We currently dredge to different depths around the port up to 10.2 metres. We are looking to dredge some areas to a new maximum of 10.7 metres.
The material is expected to be removed by a combination of our dredge Pukunui which is a trailer suction hopper dredge, and a back hoe dredge with barges. No blasting will be involved.
We are currently working with various independent experts to determine potential impacts. As part of our consultation process, we are talking with iwi and recreation groups to understand their activities and consider any mitigation before we submit our resource consent application.
All limited marine life living on and in the seabed within the small area of proposed capital dredging will be lost. It is important to note that the area to be capital dredged is already subject to regular maintenance dredging. Investigations are currently underway to assess that marine life.
Newly dredged material will go to the same place we currently dispose of dredged material which is 3.7km from the end of the channel out in Poverty Bay.
We find ourselves right at the heart of the commemorations and for exactly the same reasons as everyone else: the maritime traditions of so many of our ancestors unfolded right here in this safe harbour. Be it a waka, royal naval research vessel, Maori-owned schooner, fishing boat, or Union Steam Ship Company cargo ship, the area where the port now operates was integral to Gisborne’s settlement. Eastland Port fully understands that the area is incredibly special to the region, to all of New Zealand, and that brings with it a huge responsibility. We’re supporting the enhancement of this area and helping acknowledge the past while looking forward to creating a better future together.
Eastland Port’s customers are responsible for getting wood to the port so yes, more logs coming out of the forests will mean more trucks. Commercial vehicles are an important part of the economic well-being of any community, and Gisborne is no exception.
Eastland Port acknowledges that this is a wider issue for the community and there is a need, in a planning sense, to strike a balance for all road users. We are working with Gisborne District Council and the NZ Transport Agency on how to better manage traffic around the port.
There are some positives for being able to store more wood at the port. For example, some wood currently coming from north of Gisborne is stored at Matawhero, south of Gisborne. With more onsite port storage available this wood would ideally be able to go straight to the port.
There will be extra traffic around the port as a result of the construction work related to the twin berth development plans.
Port operating hours for receipt and delivery of cargo at the port gates are 24 hours a day so we can accommodate vessels arriving or departing at any time. If the port’s operational window was constrained we would need to invest further into more reclamation and more berths.
Yes. In time, this area will be closed to public, but not just because of the twin berth development work. The area has become a target for vandalism, and it has become too unsafe for the public to be in when forklifts and trucks are operating in the area. Wharf 5 and 6 will be secured, and used to moor Eastland Port’s tug boats and the fleet of commercial fishing vessels operating out of the district. This will remove the need for our tug boats to be up in front of inner harbour eateries blocking the view for diners. We know how much families and whanau love to fish in this area and so please be assured we are looking at other opportunities as part of the project to provide for public access to the sea.
Nothing the port has planned for the twin berth development will impact on the use of the boat ramp.
Nothing the port has planned for the twin berth development will impact on use of the boat travel lift.