Rohde Nielsen a Danish dredging company headquartered in Copenhagen began work at the Port of Tauranga New Zealand in October 2015. Work is scheduled to be completed in August 2016. Dredging the shipping channels at the Port of Tauranga is the final step in a NZ$350 million (US$235 million) capital 5-year expenditure program aimed at improving port facilities for New Zealand’s exporters and importers. Rohde Nielsen is deepening and widening Tauranga’s shipping channels from 12.9 meters to 14.5 meters (42 feet to 46.5 feet) inside the harbor and to 15.8 meters (52 feet) outside the harbor.
Enlarged ports will allow the port to realize the blue-water savings of larger ships. Larger ships both containerized and bulk have rela-tively higher fuel efficiency and are therefore more carbon efficient with lower operating costs per unit. The work is being done by two trailer suction hopper dredges the Brage R and the larger Balder R and the backhoe Gungner R. When the dredging deadline is met in August the infrastructure should be ready to handle 6500 TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) ships in late 2016 and container volumes are expected to exceed one million TEUs in the 2016/2017 financial year. The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s freight gateway on the East Coast of the northern island facing the South Pacific. The dredging works put the port in a good position to expand the infrastructure necessary to support the next generation of mega container ships in New Zealand waters.