The port is growing side-by-side with this district’s flourishing forestry industry. Log volumes continue to rise and records continue to be broken – a reflection of the East Coast’s forestry success story.
With Asia ravenous for wood as fast as the district can grow it – the log sector is booming.
So now the port needs some moderate development in order to keep up because at the moment the port and the entire East Coast forestry industry relies on the single log berth at wharf 8.
We believe to cope with increasing log export volumes a second log berth at wharf 8 is needed to allow simultaneous loading of two 200m long log vessels.
As well as being able to handle more wood, a second berth would future-proof the port for coastal shipping and new international trade and exports.
Overall it’s a staged multi-million dollar construction project likely to take five years.
Development funding will come from operational cashflow and borrowings. In time the development will pay for itself.
Because a number of Eastland Port structures involved in the redevelopment require refurbishment regardless of the second berth development, we’ve started planning this year.
In September the port applied for the first of three resource consents for the project. The first resource consent application is for:
The second resource consent application is for:
The third resource consent application we are aiming to lodge in early 2018
A key challenge with the twin berth development is balancing the responsibilities we have to households and businesses who rely on the forestry industry – alongside concerns other people may have.
We have to ensure our piece of the infrastructure is fit for purpose because there’s a downstream effect whereby anyone who has anything to do with the logs be it a faller, truck driver, diesel mechanic, shop owner or accountant, will benefit.
In fact, more than 1 in 4 households in the region have a person whose job is dependent on forestry. (Source: Economic impact assessment of the forestry industry in the Gisborne-Tairāwhiti region Institute for Business Research, University of Waikato, October 2013).
We need to unlock the port’s potential so it remains a source of opportunity for this district.