Project: Port Taranaki Deepening 2005
Location: New Plymouth, New Zealand
Client: Port Taranaki Limited
This was the first project for the backhoe dredge (BHD) Machiavelli
. Built in Europe, the Machiavelli was mobilised to New
Plymouth by tug, after a journey through the Suez Canal, with calls at Oman, Mumbai, Colombo, Singapore, Rabaul and finally New Plymouth - a trip of close to six months.
This Capital Dredging Project to deepen Port Taranaki’s entrance channel, turning basin and berths involved the dredging of over 700,000 m3 of silts, sands, rocks and large boulders using the BHD Machiavelli. The dredged material was disposed of at the Port Taranaki offshore dump ground using the 750m3 split hopper barges WH761
and the 1200hp tug Pacific Way
– in all over 1200 trips made without incident. Some of the boulders were so large that they would not drop out when the barges opened; on these occasions the barges were towed back to port and the Ports Container Cranes were used to extract boulders from the barge, the heaviest being 25 tonne for use on the breakwaters.
Port Taranaki is located on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, while the port is well protected by large rock
breakwaters, the entrance channel and disposal grounds are part of the nitrous West Coast and Tasman Sea. Minimising down time due to weather /sea conditions was key to completing this dredging project. To assist in the management of this, MetOcean Services were contracted to supply up to date and accurate forecasting so as to ensure maximum utilisation of suitable weather windows to allow dredging to be completed on time in the unprotected and exposed entrance channel.