CentrePort is proposing to apply for consents to deepen the harbour to allow for ships with draughts of up to 14.5metres at the harbour entrance and the Thorndon Container Wharf.
These consents would provide CentrePort the flexibility to dredge in one stage or a series of stages, allowing the port to deepen the channel only as required, in response to the size of ships actually visiting New Zealand.
An extensive optimisation exercise was undertaken to identify the most cost effective design delivering the least amount of dredging for the best operational outcome.
As Wellington is a naturally deep harbour, no deepening is required in the main harbour basin and the overall volume proposed to be removed is less than at other ports to achieve the same outcomes.
At the harbour entrance consents are being sought that would allow the port to remove up to 6.0 million cubic metres of seabed sediment.
The proposed disposal site is off Fitzroy Bay, in water approximately 50 metres deep. This site is a refinement of the existing consented disposal area.
The main container berth and northern approach at Thorndon Container Wharf would also be deepened, with placement of that material, up to 270,000 cubic metres, in deeper water near the berth.
Alternatives for disposal have, and will continue to be considered.
CentrePort is committed to ensuring the environmental, social and cultural sustainability of Wellington Harbour.
CentrePort is working closely with Wellington iwi to understand and address any cultural impacts of the project.
The port is also working closely with key stakeholders and interested parties to identify measures for managing or mitigating any environmental effects.