Lyttelton invests in container terminal

LPC anticipates container volumes to reach 350,000 teu for this financial year LPC anticipates container volumes to reach 350,000 teu for this financial year

New Zealand’s Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) is set to buy a fourth ship to shore gantry crane to handle the growing container volumes at the port.

LPC will also expand its fleet of straddle carriers by investing in four new diesel electric straddles to increase the capacity of its current fleet from 18 to 22.

“The company’s strong performance is proof of the continued underlying strength of the Canterbury economy which has continued to generate strong growth in exports and imports. LPC is committed to supporting the Canterbury economy by providing facilities, plants and staffing to meet this ongoing growth in trade,” Peter Davie, chief executive, LPC, told Port Strategy.

As container trade continues to grow, the port anticipates achieving container volumes of 350,000 TEU for this financial year – a record total.

Since being hit by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, which destroyed around 500 assets including container terminal wharves and piles, LPC has been rebuilding infrastructure and adapting to changes in vessel sizes and types, the containerisation of cargoes and cargo handling methods.

LPC says the investment in infrastructure will help maintain and enhance container handling productivity while work continues on its reinstatement and development plan.

Ireland’s Liebherr Container Cranes will be manufacturing the crane and straddles at a combined cost of over NZ$16m. Delivery is expected in the latter half of 2014.

Meanwhile, the port is reviewing the payment of dividends after a breakthrough in a two year earthquake insurance repair claim.

The port will receive an extra NZ$17.4m from insurers, bringing the total progress payments to date to approximately NZ$53m.

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