• Napier Port welcomes first vessel to 6 Wharf ahead of official opening

Napier Port welcomes first vessel to 6 Wharf ahead of official opening

Napier Port has welcomed the first container vessel to berth at its new 350-metre 6 Wharf ahead of its official opening next month. 

The CMA CGM Marlin, measuring 294.05-metres long with a 32.2-metre beam (width), was safely piloted into Napier Port yesterday morning and berthed at 6 Wharf under the guidance of Napier Port’s three tugs – Kaweka, Ahuriri and Te Mata.

The new wharf is set to officially open for business on Friday, July 22, aligned to the transformation of the container terminal operations to maximise safety and efficiency for Napier Port’s own operations.

With the Dry Commissioning process completed at the end of March, the berthing of the CMA CGM Marlin is part of the 6 Wharf Wet Commissioning stage, when the project team tests the new, state-of-the-art MoorMaster vacuum mooring system on container vessels that regularly call into Napier Port.

Napier Port CEO Todd Dawson said: "It’s certainly a sight that has been many years and an immeasurable amount of planning and hard work in the making".

"The CMA CGM Marlin is only a few centimetres short of being the longest container ship calling to Napier Port, so it is fitting that she was the first ship to test our newest berth and our MoorMaster infrastructure."

Once officially opened next month, 6 Wharf will provide increased shipping capacity, improve the availability and operational performance across all of Napier Port’s wharves, and ultimately boost productivity for many of Napier Port’s customers, Dawson said. 

“The new wharf not only future-proofs Hawke’s Bay’s regional growth, but it also opens up further growth opportunities and shipping options for cargo owners and customers across the central and lower North Island." 

A team from Cavotec, manufacturers of MoorMaster, arrived back at Napier Port on Monday to lead the Wet Commissioning process and start training Napier Port’s Mooring team to manage operations of the system.

Cavotec Country Manager New Zealand David Williams said the MoorMaster system is designed to deliver faster, safer and cleaner mooring.

"The automated vacuum pads are able to moor and release vessels in seconds, at the push of a button, with full remote-control access available out on the wharf using a tablet device. The system dramatically improves safety and operational efficiency, optimises the ship-to-shore interface, and also helps to reduce emissions during ship berthing due to reduced use of tugs and ship engines.”

Each of the 10 MoorMaster units can secure up to 40 tonnes and features tidal gauges and high-tech sensors that allow the system to hold a vessel safely in place while continually making automated adjustments to mitigate swell and weather conditions.

Tied to the Wet Commissioning process, Napier Port has also gone live with its – and New Zealand’s first official – High-Density Electronic Navigation Chart (hdENC). This new navigation chart was used by Napier Port’s Marine Pilots to safely navigate the first vessel through the new Tareha navigation channel into port last week.

The new High-Density chart provides much greater detail than a standard navigation chart and thus enhances the safety of navigation and additionally should expand the range of weather and tidal conditions in which safe navigation may be conducted.

The chart encompasses all of the changes to Napier’s Pilotage area during the 6 Wharf development project, including 17 changes to the port’s navigation lights, buoys and beacons.