Napier Port is proposing to build a new wharf that is 350m long and approximately 34m wide, supported by piles in the seafloor. The wharf would run parallel to the existing container terminal, where there is currently a rock retaining wall. The wharf would be able to take a ship up to 360m long due to “dolphins” or separate mooring bollards at the western end where the biggest ships could be moored. The next generation of cruise ships are 360m long (12 metres longer than the current largest ships). Napier Port needs to ensure it can accommodate ships of this size in the future.
While we could utilise a new wharf now, we don’t want to invest in this significant infrastructure until there is sufficient demand. However, the expected timeframe for consenting and construction is three to four years so we need to start planning for this demand at least four years in advance. The wharf, berth pocket (where the ship sits) and swing basin (where the ship turns) would be built in stage one, while dredging the shipping channel to accommodate larger ships will only happen as ships coming here get progressively larger. It is expected that the dredging will be undertaken in stages over a number of years, as and when shipping company demand requires it.
A series of ship simulations have been carried out by the Port’s marine team at the ship simulator Smartship in Brisbane to ensure that design is optimised for manoeuvring large ships onto and off the proposed wharf and to ensure other ships can easily transit to the existing berths within the Port. The simulations give a realistic impression of the scale of the wharf and how an approaching and berthed ship would look.