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Proposed Channel Deepening Project

LPC is proposing to deepen, widen and lengthen the channel to allow larger ships to access the Port

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LATEST NEWS ON THE CHANNEL DEEPENING PROJECT

Timeline

  • Expert consultation and engagement with key stakeholders such as iwi, industry, environmental and commercial groups: Commenced 2008 and is ongoing.
  • Resource consent application submitted to Environment Canterbury on Wednesday, 28 September 2016.
  • A Resource consent hearing occurred early May 2017.
  • A decision on the consent will be made around mid 2017.
  • Assuming consent is granted with conditions acceptable to all parties, the first stage of work is expected to commence early 2018 and be completed by the end of that year.

Environmental Monitoring

LPC will undertake at least a year of baseline water quality measurement before any dredging commences to prepare the shipping channel in Lyttelton Harbour for larger container ships.

The baseline water quality monitoring program was co-developed by LPC, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke, Te Hapū o Koukourārata, Sanfords and Ngāi Tahu Seafoods

Installed in September/October 2016 LPC 14 real-time water quality monitoring buoys were planted throughout Lyttelton Harbour, Port Levy and offshore marine areas to ensure the monitoring programme has continuous live information on water quality, waves, rides and sedimentation rates. There are also five seabed water quality stations (two of which measure light) and two devices which continuously measure change in seabed level.

Parameters such as water turbidity (water clarity), pH, temperature and nutrient levels will be constantly measured during the baseline period. A summary of the data will be sent to a dedicated website every 15 minutes here. For all information that cannot be collected in real time such as mammal and marine life monitoring, this data will be released monthly via ‘reports and information’ which can be found below.

Turbidity Map

Monitoring data: A summary of the real-time water quality data is available here, note that current data represents natural conditions as no dredging has occurred.

Currently the data is compared against the past data to display if the water clarity is ‘normal’ (green), ‘cloudier than normal’ (yellow) or ‘cloudy’ (orange).

The 14 water monitoring sites will provide an in-depth understanding of the existing background conditions. Information from the sites will enable the proposed dredging operations to be constantly managed and adapted to ensure environmental effects are minimised and fall within anticipated levels.

Weather information including temperature, waves and wine direction are also available here

What are we proposing?

The first dredge ship came to Lyttelton Port in 1880 and every year since dredging has occurred in Lyttelton Harbour /Whakaraupō. Dredging has occurred to ensure ships could safely enter and exit the harbour.  The harbour has a natural depth of 5-12 metres, but with successive dredging campaigns/projects have created a shipping channel with a consistent depth of 12.5m.

Over the last 10 years the size of container ships internationally has virtually doubled. To accommodate larger vessels, Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) is proposing a channel deepening project which will see the depth of the shipping channel increase by 5-6m to allow for these larger, deeper ships.

With 99 percent of New Zealand’s freight carried by sea, it is important that this dredging project occurs so LPC can continue to provide efficient transport services for the region

Shipping-comparison_small-compressor

How Dredging works

Dredging is an underwater excavation process, using a specialised ship, to remove sediment from the channel and deposit it at an offshore disposal ground. In order to complete the project, the dredge ship repeats this process around 10 times a day for approximately 12 months.

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Take a look at these videos which explain why we are dredging, how dredging works and how we will ensure the health of the harbour and marine life.

Part1 Part2 Part3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application for Resource Consents

In preparing for the resource consent LPC has invested more than $3 million dollars working with a range of expert scientists to undertake investigations into the effects the proposed dredging could have. The experts include specialists in marine ecology, sea bird and marine mammals, sediment, waves and tidal modelling and water quality monitoring among others. LPC’s assessments to evaluate and mitigate potential effects of the project are ongoing and community input is now sought to ensure all issues and concerns are considered.

Consultation and engagement

LPC understands that Lyttelton Harbour / Whakaraupō, Port Levy/Koukourārata and the surrounding areas are really important, for many reasons, to the whole community. LPC has worked closely with representatives from the community, iwi, environmental and commercial groups to consult on the proposed project and to seek feedback on our plans. A cultural impact assessment to identify and mitigate potential effects of the project on mana whenua values and interests has been undertaken.

Available Resources

The proposed plans, expert reports and videos of the Channel Deepening Project can be viewed at: www.lpc.co.nz/port-development/projects/dredging/

Community feedback can be sent to: feedback@lpc.co.nz

Please see “Let’s Talk” below for details of how to contact us.

FAQs
Let's Talk
Reports and Information

Frequently Asked Questions

LPC will seek resource consents so Lyttelton Harbour can be dredged to allow access by container ships with draughts up to 14.5 metres. The Port can currently accommodate container vessels up to a 12.4 metre draught.

The largest vessels now visiting the Port carry more than 4,500 twenty-foot containers (TEUs). In future, larger vessels will have up to 8,000 containers.

Container ships have doubled in size in the last ten years and are continuing to grow bigger as shipping lines develop larger vessels that can carry more cargo. That means deeper, longer berths with more capacity will be needed for the Port to remain competitive.

 

Why does Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) need to undertake this additional dredging?

Internationally, container ships have been getting bigger for many years. To ensure LPC can accommodate these larger ships it is proposing a channel deepening project of the Lyttelton Harbour. This will see the depth of the shipping channel increase by 5-6 metres to allow for these larger and deeper vessels to safely negotiate the channel.
LPC is proposing to lengthen the existing channel by approximately 6.5 kilometres and widen it by 20 metres.
The additional channel depth will support LPC as the South Island’s major international trade gateway and develop a thriving and competitive Port for the future that is able to service the region’s long-term trade growth.
Without deepening the Lyttelton Harbour channel, exporters and importers may face increased transport costs or a reduction in choice of shipping lines. Both would negatively impact on the region’s economy.

How much will this cost and when will you get a return on the investment you propose for capital dredging?

We estimate that the total project will cost between $80 million and $120 million. This is dependent on tender responses from dredging companies.
The value is in being able to grow and develop LPC so it can accommodate larger vessels. If LPC cannot do that then it would reduce its ability to service the region. This would significantly impact Canterbury’s growth.
With 99 percent of New Zealand’s freight carried by sea, it is important to undertake channel deepening so LPC can continue to provide efficient transport services for the region with a choice of shipping lines. This ensures our exporters remain competitive in the international market and the cost of importing goods to New Zealand is kept low.

Is this the first time the channel has been dredged?

Dredging of the channel is not new and has occurred regularly since the first dredge came to Lyttelton Port in 1880. The harbour has a natural depth of five to 12 metres, but with successive dredging a shipping channel with a consistent depth of 12.5 metres has been formed. To allow the bigger ships to call at Lyttelton Harbour, LPC needs to deepen the existing channel to approximately 17-18 metres.

When will the proposed dredging to enlarge the shipping channel start and how long will it take?

Before any work can commence on the channel deepening project, LPC must gain resource consent under the Resource Management Act. The consent has been lodged with Environment Canterbury. LPC has requested that it is publicly notified – allowing anyone to lodge a submission.
While the consent is being processed, LPC will undertake 12 months of baseline monitoring of the water quality conditions in the harbour. Once this is complete and resource consent has been granted the dredging will start. The earliest dredging could commence is late 2017. Each of the project’s two stages will take around 9-12 months.

What will be the effects on marine life?

The channel deepening project will not have long-term effects on the marine life. There will be short-term disruptions to the seabed ecology and marine life in the immediate vicinity of the channel and offshore disposal ground during the operational period.
These communities are highly resilient to disturbance. Mobile species such as fish are expected to avoid the immediate area during the dredging period and seabed communities will re-establish quickly once channel deepening is complete.

What scientific research have you done so far to ensure the proposed dredging will not adversely impact on the environment?

As part of preparing for the resource consent LPC has invested more than $3 million, working with a range of expert scientists, to undertake investigations into any effects the proposed dredging could have.
The environmental monitoring programme implemented will be the most extensive ever undertaken on a dredge project in New Zealand.
Assessments are ongoing and community input is now sought to ensure all issues and concerns are considered. These reports will be available in the next few weeks at http://www.lpc.co.nz/port-development/projects/dredging/.
LPC has engaged a series of experts in areas including marine ecology, sea bird and marine mammals, sediment, waves and tidal modelling and water quality monitoring among others to carefully evaluate and mitigate potential effects of the project.
A cultural impact assessment to identify and mitigate potential effects of the project on mana whenua values and interests has been undertaken.

Can you give an example of how environmental monitoring will occur?

One example is the installation of 14 real-time monitoring stations which will be connected across Lyttelton Harbour/Te Whakaraupō, Port Levy/Koukourārata and offshore marine areas to ensure LPC has continuous information on water quality. Continuous assessment of the data, coupled with weather reports and comparison to modelled scenarios, will allow the proposed dredging operations to be constantly managed and adapted to ensure environmental effects are minimised and within anticipated levels. Access to real-time water quality information at all the locations will be available via a dedicated website

Have you undertaken any consultation with Port users and the community?

To date, LPC has worked closely with community representatives, iwi, environmental and commercial groups to consult on the proposed project and to seek feedback.
LPC is currently requesting feedback from the wider community to ensure all issues and concerns are considered prior to lodging its resource consent.
Drop in meetings at ‘Port Talk’, the company’s information centre on the corner of London and Oxfords streets in Lyttelton, will be held over the next few months. ‘Port Talk’ is open every Friday from 11am to 1pm.
Interested parties can also visit http://www.lpc.co.nz/port-development/projects/dredging/ to view proposed plans and watch a series of comprehensive videos to give feedback or email: feedback@lpc.co.nz

What consultation have you undertaken with iwi?

We have had extensive, ongoing consultation with iwi over many years and will continue to do so. We are committed to working in partnership with them to support the harbour’s health.
Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, Port Levy/Koukourārata and the surrounding areas have huge significance to mana whenua, in particular for food gathering/mahinga kai. LPC has consulted with mana whenua at all stages of the project to ensure values and interests of the local iwi are taken into consideration and effects on them are minimised.
Marine ecological investigations are being carried out along the coastline and within the harbour to identify present mahinga kai species and habitats. This will provide a baseline and help us understand the characteristics of the existing ecological communities.

When will the larger ships that need the deeper draught start coming to Lyttelton?

Within the next 1-10 years larger vessels will have up to 10,000 containers. Currently the largest vessels coming into Lyttelton Harbour carry around 4,500 containers.
Container vessels have doubled in size in the last 10 years and are continuing to grow bigger as shipping lines develop larger vessels that can carry more cargo. That means deeper, longer berths with more capacity will also be needed for the LPC to remain competitive.

Will this be a noisy operation?

The proposed dredging will operate 24 hours a day, seven days per week. It will not be noisy, rather it will look and sound like the current cargo ships travelling up the channel.

What experts are you working with?

To date we have engaged the following experts – all their scientific research and reports will be made publicly available.

 

Expert

Company

Scope of work

Dr Brett Beamsly,

Dr Peter McComb

MetOcean Solutions Ltd

Waves, currents and tidal modelling

Sediment transport/plume modelling

Ross Sneddon (and others)

Cawthron Institute

Marine ecology (benthic and shoreline)

Dr Deanna Clements

Cawthron Institute

Marine Mammals

Andrew Purves

Andrew Purves Planning Ltd

Planning

Dr Shaun Ogilvie

Tonkin + Taylor Ltd

Aquaculture and Mahinga Kai

Mike Copeland

Brown Copeland and Co

Economics

Derek Goring

Mulgor Consulting Ltd

Tides and waves (within harbour)

Gary Teear

OCEL Consultants Ltd

Dredging, seafloor conditions and sediment movement

Dyanna Jolly

Witaskewin

Cultural impact assessment

Rob Greenaway

Rob Greenaway & Associates

Recreational assessment

Dr Tom Shand

Tonkin + Taylor Ltd

Coastal geomorphology summary

Dr Leigh Bull

Boffa Miskell Ltd

Sea Birds

Dr Leonie Anderson

Vision Environments Ltd

Water Quality Monitoring

Dolphins are an important part of Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō/Koukourārata – how can you be sure they will not be harmed?

The Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, has been commissioned to undertake specific studies on the impact of the dredging on dolphins. At this early stage, the science indicates it’s very unlikely there will be any significant impact on dolphins or their food sources.
However, we will need to wait until the studies are completed before providing the confirmed results. That should be within the next few months.
The scientific studies are ongoing and will be publicly available.

How does dredging work?

The dredge follows the route of the channel, sucking up the soft sediment from the seabed. Once full, the dredge proceeds to the proposed disposal site and the spoil (sediment) is distributed evenly across the site.

How much material will be dredged?

Approximately 18 million cubic metres will be dredged to deepen the channel, including some dredging associated with the proposed reclamation. More than half of this will be dredged in the first stage of the works. The dredged material will be transported and deposited evenly over a 2.5 by five kilometres offshore disposal site.

Could the proposed dredging programme change the wave height in the harbour?

LPC is working with leading scientists and their work to date indicates there may be a very minor, barely noticeable change.

Why have you chosen the spot off Godley Head for the sediment (spoil) disposal ground?

A number of factors were considered when deciding on the location for the proposed spoil dumping ground location. The further away the site is from the harbour, the higher the fuel costs to transport the dredged material to the dumping location.
However, the closer the disposal ground to the harbour, the higher the risk of sediment-induced effects on the environment. The chosen location is 3.3 kilometres from Banks Peninsula at its nearest point and achieves a balance between cost-efficiency and minimising potential effects.
The location was arrived at through consultation with a number of technical experts and key stakeholders.
The proposed disposal site for the sediment (spoil) from the dredging is 2.5 by five kilometres and is located approximately 6 kilometres offshore from Godley Head. It is the most cost-effective and efficient location closest to Lyttelton Harbour’s entrance which minimises the potential for sediment drift.

Why not deposit the sediment from the dredging in the reclamation?

It’s possible we may consider depositing some sediment in the reclamation but there will be far too much to deposit all of it there, thus an alternative site had to be considered.

Let's Talk

If you would like to know more about our dredging plans come along to our Port Talk Information Centre in Lyttelton on the corner of Oxford and London Street for a chat with us. Our team will be there to discuss the proposed project, answer questions and provide information.

Port talk is open every Friday from 11:00am – 1:00pm, and on some Saturday mornings. See below for the upcoming Saturday Port Talk dates:

  • Saturday 25th June 10:30am – 1:00pm

 

Feedback

Thanks for your interest in our project. We’re keen to hear from you. Either fill out the feedback form below or contact us using the following details:

























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41 Chapmans Road, Hillsborough, Christchurch 8022

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Private Bag 501, Lyttelton 8841, New Zealand

Phone: (+64 3) 328 8198
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