Proposed Channel Deepening Project
LPC is proposing to deepen, widen and lengthen the channel to allow larger ships to access the Port
LATEST NEWS ON THE CHANNEL DEEPENING PROJECT
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see “Let’s Talk” below for details of how to contact us.