It won’t be long before Eastland Port and its contracted companies shift 300,000 tonnes of wood in one month, says general manager Andrew Gaddum.
“Our customers tell us ahead what volumes of wood are coming in to the port. We can see that a record breaking tonnage of 300,000 may not be far away.”
The port’s latest monthly throughput figures show a solid October with 289,000 tonnes of wood loaded onto 14 log vessels.
“We are sitting at cart in at over 12,000 tonnes per working day, but our predictions show we’ll be shifting 13,000 tonnes of wood per working day before very long,” says Mr Gaddum.
“That will lead to record breaking tonnage figures into the future for Eastland Port.”
Eastland Port tallies its tonnage across 23 working days, as for the most part forestry companies do not cart wood in on Saturday afternoons or Sundays.
Mr Gaddum says 12-15 ships would be needed in port during November to shift 300,000 tonnes – the very maximum Eastland Port could handle with only one berth for one ship at a time.
“As the growing monthly throughput figures show, a huge amount of wood is coming out of our local forests and to get ready we need to be able to park two 200m long ships in the port at the same time.”
In September the port applied for the first of three resource consents as part of a multi-million dollar project to create twin berths.
The first resource consent application is to rebuild wharf 6 and 7, and reshape the slipway. The second resource consent application will be for dredging, and the third resource consent application will be to extend wharf 8, required reclamation, and breakwater repairs.
Image: Young visitors to the Gisborne A&P Show with a community-completed mural showing Eastland Port complete with twin berth capability. Image by Brennan Thomas, Strike Photography.