CHANNEL DEEPENING PROJECT BEGINS AS THE FAIRWAY ARRIVES IN LYTTELTON HARBOUR
One of the world’s largest dredges, the Fairway, arrived in Lyttelton Harbour this morning as the channel deepening project prepares to get underway.
Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) Chief Executive, Peter Davie says, “The dredging programme means larger container ships, which have virtually doubled in size during the last 10 years, will be able to call at Lyttelton. It is estimated this will decrease freight costs for Lyttelton customers by more than 10 per cent.
“LPC was granted resource consent in March 2018 to dredge the navigation channel, which will see the channel lengthened by approximately 2.5km and widened by 20 metres.
“The initial work will occur in stages and take approximately 12 weeks to complete. Stage one will allow vessels with a 13.3 metre draught to call at Lyttelton. Future stages will allow unrestricted sailing for 14.5 metre draught vessels across all tides.
“The channel deepening will provide Canterbury’s importers and exporters the best possible and most-cost effective international shipping solutions,” says Peter Davie.
The Fairway has travelled from Mumbai, India, but first made a stop in Singapore for a thorough clean before heading to Lyttelton Harbour.
In Singapore, the Fairway went into dry dock to be water blasted and had her antifoul refreshed, as part of biosecurity measures. The Fairway’s interior spaces were cleaned and flushed with fresh water, and after a detailed inspection, she set off for New Zealand.
Netherlands-based contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. – a global operator with more than 100 years’ experience – was awarded the initial stage of the dredging programme, and this is the first time they’ve worked in New Zealand.
Fairway Captain Marco de Bruin has spent 29 years working with Boskalis, and is leading a crew of 35 for the next 12 weeks as the dredge gets to work.
The Fairway will be docked in the Port for the next two days as the crew undergoes custom clearances and inductions.
The Fairway will start dredging at first light on Wednesday, and she will work 24/7 to deepen, lengthen and widen the channel, as part of stage one of the channel deepening project.
LPC’s Harbour Watch website will provide real-time data as part of the company’s water-quality monitoring project, www.lpcharbourwatch.co.nz
This video shows the arrival of the Fairway in Lyttelton Harbour today: https://vimeo.com/286805004
How dredging works:
- The trailing suction hopper dredgers collect sand and silt from the seabed.
- In the first stage the existing shipping channel is being lengthened by approximately 2.5 km, widened by 20 metres and deepened by up to 2 metres. The dredged sediment will be relocated to a designated 2.5 x 5 km spoil ground located approximately 5 km off Godley Head.
- The dredgers are equipped with one or two suction pipes ending in drag heads. When a vessel reaches the dredging location it reduces speed and lowers the suction pipes to the seabed.
- The drag head moves slowly over the bed collecting the sand like a giant vacuum cleaner. The mixture of sand and water is pumped into the hopper of the dredging vessel. Excess water flows out through so-called overflows. Dredging stops when the maximum hopper capacity is reached
- The sand can be deposited through doors located in the bottom of the vessel. Accuracy is achieved by manoeuvring the vessel precisely above the desired location.