Eastland Port opens new log yard to the community

Eastland Port is opening its brand new log yard to Tairawhiti residents on Saturday (26 September) and is encouraging people to bring skateboards, scooters and bikes to its family open day.

The port’s $12 million makeover of the upper log yard was the culmination of seven years of consultation and planning, said Eastland Group chief executive, Matt Todd.

Mr Todd said the additional storage provided by the new yard was badly needed, with log harvest in this region estimated to reach more than 3.5 million tonnes annually over the next few years.

“While Eastland Port is already recognised as the most efficient log handling port in the country, this project has been driven by our customers’ requirements for an even more efficient port. Log export volumes have grown from 350,000 tonnes in 2005 to 2.3 million tonnes in 2015. Forestry is an industry that continues to grow, providing opportunity and employment for our whole region.”

On Saturday 26 September, the log yard will be open to the public from 10.30am until 12.30pm so that families can visit the yard and try out the asphalt on their bikes and skateboards.

“The log yard is an investment for the future of the forestry industry and therefore for the prosperity of the entire region. We wanted to take this opportunity to open the area to the people of Tairawhiti before it is filled up with logs.”

Eastland Port general manager, Andrew Gaddum, said the upper log yard’s footprint had been expanded to 2.4 hectares and, once operational, would boost total log storage area on port to 12.2 hectares or over 120,000 tons. A world class storm water treatment system was another significant benefit of the new log yard, and included two lamella clarifier systems which could each treat up to fifty cubic meters of water an hour.

“The minute it starts raining the water treatment system starts working. As part of this project we’ve also put in a third concrete pad for another clarifier, just in case we need it in future. Looking ahead, the outcome for our local environment is a whole lot better, and we’ll implement a regime of testing to ensure compliance with the Council’ requirements.”

Mr Gaddum thanked lead contractor Downer and the numerous local subcontractors for both the quality of the work and their commitment to maintaining a safe work site throughout the nine month construction project.

“This has been a huge undertaking involving many people, heavy machinery and vehicles. Together with Downer, we’re proud of the fact we’ve spent more than 34,000 man hours on this project and not one person has suffered a Medical Treatment or Lost-Time Injury.”