- Watts Shipping Register
- Watts Shipping Register
Nautical News November 2009
Tolaga Bay Wharf
In April 2009 it was announced that the Tolaga Bay wharf was now rated as a category one historic place, being of outstanding historical significance. Built at great expense in the 1920s, it now needs millions of dollars spent on its restoration. A multimillion-dollar drive to restore the Tolaga Bay wharf is being encouraged by the Historic Places Trust giving the wharf its top classification. The status of the 660-metre wharf, fiftysix kilometres northeast of Gisborne, was upgraded because of its historical significance. Completed in 1929 but closed to shipping since 1967, the wharf has been deteriorating. A Save the Tolaga Bay Wharf group said a NZ$1.2 million contract for stage three of its restoration would start in May 2009. The first two stages have cost about $1.7 million. Two final stages will cost about another $3 million. It would also boost the wharf's status as a tourist attraction. The wharf was built so farmers could ship their produce out of the region. At its peak in 1936 more than 130 ships visited the port. Better roads and trucks finally made it redundant and now people use it mainly for fishing.
Ex “Amaltal Endeavour” Sinks off Argentina
A trawler part-owned by Talley’s deep-sea division sank off the coast of Argentina with the loss of one of her crew on 5th May 2009. The sixty-metre Mataco II, which used to fish from Nelson as Amaltal Endeavour (890 gross tonnage, built 2003) sank about seventy kilometres off the coast from Rio Gallegos, and fortythree of her fortyfour crew were rescued. She was two days into a fortyfive-day hoki-catching voyage, and was owned by Hamaltal SA, a joint venture between Talley’s and Argentine Company Harengus SA. She was reported to have sunk in the midst of a severe storm after her engine had failed and she was drifting. A distress message was sent and another fishing vessel, Beagle Channel 1, rescued her crew from three liferafts. Mataco II had sailed from Port Madryn, Chubut, on 3rd April 2009, after she had previously landed 4.000 tonnes of processed and semi-processed fish.
Fifth Container Crane for Tauranga
The heavy-lift vessel Beluga Fraternity (9,611 gross tonnage, built 2008) delivered the port’s fifth Liebherr container gantry crane to Tauranga during May 2009. She arrived from Ireland with the main crane boom and front legs on-deck and other components under-deck. It took about eight weeks to assemble the new crane ashore and was commissioned in July 2009. Specifically designed for 5,000 to 7,000 TEU container ships, the crane has an outreach of fortyeight metres and can handle eighteen-containers-wide vessels (the largest ships presently serving New Zealand only being thirteen containers-wide). The new crane provides a lifting capacity of sixty tonnes under a telescopic twin-lift spreader and up to eighty tonnes under a hook beam. The decision to purchase another Liebherr crane follows steady long-term growth of the port’s container business, with the existing four cranes already working close to their capacity. Port of Tauranga said the new crane was an integral part of their strategic planning in preparation for accommodating containerships up to 7,000 TEU, which also included dredging to widen and deepen harbour channels and berths to 14.5 metres draught at low water.
New Hoegh Roll-on Roll-off Service
A monthly roll-on roll-off schedule between New Zealand, Australia and Japan was introduced by Höegh Autoliners from late June 2009 using the pure car carrier Dream Angel (41,662 gross tonnage, built 2006). The service operates between Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton, Brisbane, Osaka, Nagoya, Kawasaki, and back to Auckland. The 186-metre vessel has a 100-tonne stern ramp, up to five-metre-high liftable decks and capacity for 145 trucks and about 3,000 cars and pick-ups over ten decks. The new service was hoped to attract a mixture of roll-on, roll-off cargo, including boats on trailers, large, high and heavy manufactured items such as tanks, used vehicles and machinery, and processed timber and palletized products.
By early 2009, the hulk of the former Wanganui Harbour Board dredger Wanganui (253 gross, built 1950) was lying abandoned in a derelict condition in Whangaparapara harbour, Great Barrier Island. Auckland Regional Council, as harbour authority, was planning to scuttle the derelict vessel offshore. She was lying with her bow aground, with some water in the bow area of the ship, but her stern remains afloat. All oil was removed from her in mid-May 2009, and plans were in hand to scuttle her in deep water later in 2009. Her commercial registry was closed on 8th April 2003. She was beached near the old whaling station, at the western side of the head of Whangaparapara Harbour, opposite the Whangaparapara settlement itself. The station ceased whaling in 1963.
“Forum Avarua” Fire
Pacific Forum Line acquired the 86.53-metre Forum Avarua to operate on a fourteen-day service between Suva, Apia and Rarotonga, with New Zealand and Australian cargo transhipped via Suva or Apia. She has capacity for 167 TEU with eighteen reefer points and is equipped with two thirtyfive-tonne-capacity cranes. She commenced service in May 2009. However, a serious fire on board adversely affected these plans. Forum Avarua (2,545 gross tonnage, built 1999, ex-Ile De France in 2005, ex-Ann Sofie Scan in 2009) sailed from Auckland on 23rd July 2009 for Lautoka, loaded with cargo, including fortyseven containers, seventyone concrete pontoons, nineteen motor vehicles and one yacht. At 7.50a.m. that same day, she had a fire in her-room in 180 41’S, 1770 56’E The fire was extinguished at an hour later, using the on-board carbon dioxide system. She was subsequently towed to Suva on 25th July for repairs by the tug Maika Tora. A survey confirmed considerable damage caused by the fire, smoke and soot. The main engine control and gauge panel was destroyed. The main engine lubricating oil pump for engine start-up was disabled, due to a large proportion of the electric wiring being destroyed by the fire. Most of the engine-room deck head, bulkheads and pipes were damaged by fire or soot. She remained at Suva until repairs were completed, expected to take six to seven weeks. All cargo for Apia and Pago Pago was rebooked on general cargo Capitaine Tasman.
“Forum Samoa II” Grounding
On 29th August 2009, Forum Samoa II (7,091 gross tonnage, built 2001) went aground on Mulinu’u reef in Apia harbour. It is understood that she main engine problems whilst alongside at Apia, and intended to complete engine repairs prior to sailing. However, a tanker was expected and the berth was wanted for that ship, so she was instructed to leave by the port authorities and was towed out of the harbour “dead-ship” by two tugs. However, the tugs lost control in the strong winds, and Forum Samia II drifted aground onto a reef, in 130.41’ S., 1710.46’ W. Pacific Forum Lines operates the 126.42-metre Forum Samoa II carrying containers, break-bulk and project cargo on a service between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Lautoka, Suva, Apia, Pago Pago, Nuku’alofa, Suva, and back to Brisbane. Forum Samoa II was recently purchased for A$10million by Pacific Forum Line and Samoa Shipping Services. She was on her “maiden voyage” for her new owners when she grounded. Bad weather, prevailing southeasterlies and heavy swell pounded her whilst on the reef. Svitzer Salvage Australasia Pty. Ltd. was appointed as salvors under Lloyds Open Form.
On the morning of 31st August, the fishing vessel Tifa i Moana also grounded on the reef inshore of Forum Samoa II, blaming the port authorities for failing to advise them that Forum Samoa II was aground and not at anchor.
On 3rd September New Zealand oil experts and oil pollution response equipment were flown to Apia by an R.N.Z.A.F. Hercules to help contain any oil spill. Equipment included floating booms, pumps, liquid waste holding tanks and absorbent booms and pads. Forum Samoa II was refloated at 7a.m. on 4th September 2009 and berthed alongside Apia wharf, with very slight oil leakage, but understood with some heavy bottom damage. Operations to prepare her for a voyage to a repair yard were hampered by a severe earthquake and tsunami in Samoa on 30th September 2009, resulting in much damage and loss of life in Samoa and nearby islands. Forum Samoa II was anchored outside Apia by 10th October and sailed on 14th October bound for a Chinese or Vietnamese repair yard. The cargo from the Forum Samoa II was unloaded and transferred to Capitane Tasman. Pacific Forum Line chartered Majala (7,970 gross tonnage, built 1999, ex- Maersk Nouadhibou, ex-Box Hamburg, ex-Cagema St. Lucia, ex-Box Hamburg , ex-Sezela , ex-MSC Prony) as a replacement for Forum Samoa II.
The coaster Anatoki (550 gross tonnage, built 1992) has settled down to regular New Zealand coastal service, carrying mainly fertiliser, (urea) dolomite, coal and some gravel, and has called at Nelson, Greymouth, Onehunga, Tarakohe, Marsden Point, Bluff, Wanganui, Tauranga, and Lyttelton.
“Baldur” Converted to Livestock Carrier
The 42-metre Baldur (484 gross tonnage, built 1975), a former factory trawler that fished out of Nelson and Wellington, was modified at Nelson during April 2009 so that she can carry livestock. 44 South Shipping Company director Dennis Nisbet, who owns Baldur, said the ship had been laid up for a couple of years. He intends to carry stock from the Chatham Islands to Napier, as well as use it for general cargo. “There’s a huge excess (of stock) at the moment that they can’t get off the island with the current provider, so we’re looking at providing a service to get rid of the overflow. In the harder economic times, they need to get rid of them when they can.” He said all the specialist fishing gear had to be removed and the deck had to be divided into pens. Being a former factory trawler, the vessel had the advantage of having an extra deck, so it could carry more livestock. It was expected to be able to carry 1,200 to 1,500 animals. The work, by Garry Gray Engineering and Challenge Marine, had taken about two weeks and the job was to be finished by the end of April 2009. Baldur arrived at Napier on 9th May 2009 on her first voyage from Waitangi, Chatham Islands, with 1,300 lambs on board. She arrived at Napier again from the Chathams on 21st May and sailed on 26th May to return there. She arrived at Napier again on 31st May but spent much longer in port this time before sailing on 15th June back to the Chathams. She sailed to Chatham Islands from Napier on 30th July 2009. At Napier mid-August 2009, sailed on 14th August for Papeete. She arrived back at Auckland on 18th September from Papeete towing the double-hull oil barge CICGH-46, which had been purchased by Marstel Terminals for use as a new chemical barge, probably to replace the barge Estoril Hauler (633 gross tonnage, built 1935, ex- Sea-Tow 14, ex-David C. Ette, ex-Nuwa, ex-Hinuwai). She later sailed to Nelson, but by mid-October 2009 was back operating between Napier and the Chatham Islands again.
The harbour cruise Wellesley (334 gross tonnage, built 1972), ex-NZ Explorer, ex-Proud Sydney, etc), which has operated harbour cruises in Wellington Harbour for many years, was transferred to Fiji as part of an intra-Wellesley Group transfer. During September 2009 she was partially boarded-up for the delivery voyage, and sailed from Wellington on ?? November 2009 for Fiji via Whanagarei. An article was published in the “Dominion Post” of 24th October 2009 which said that “After plying Wellington Harbour for nine years, Wellesley is heading back to where it all began. The boutique cruise ship is being moved to its namesake resort in Fiji, and is expected to sail out of the harbour for good next week. The thirtyseven-year old ship was built in Fiji and was launched as the Blue Lagoon Cruises ship Talei-Anda before moving to Australia thirteen years later to cruise the Murray River as Proud Sydney. It was used as a floating casino in Auckland and as a cruise ship in the Marlborough Sounds (as NZ Explorer) before coming to Wellington after restoration in 2002 and renaming as Wellesley. Wayne Coffey, of the Wellesley Group, said the boat would be used at the company’s Wellesley Resort Fiji. It is being detained by Maritime NZ as it awaits certification from Fijian authorities. “We’re sorry to be leaving but there’s better business up there, and better weather up there too,” he said. Wellesley will join the company’s hovercraft at the resort. (see Vol.53, No.2) The hovercraft was to be used for high-speed trips on Wellington Harbour bit was shipped to Fiji last year because of what Mr. Coffey said were problems with “red tape”.
Mentioned in Vol.56, No.2, Seawind (492 gross tonnage, built 2005) completed her work on the “West Wind” wind-turbine project and arrived at Wellington from Picton on 10th May 2009 to lay up, initially at Aotea Quay, and then at Inter Island Wharf from early June 2009. Brandywine (181 gross tonnage, built 1977) completed her work on the same project a few weeks later and arrived at Wellington from Picton on 10th June 2009 and laid-up alongside Seawind at Inter Island Wharf. It is understood that both vessels were for sale. On 23rd October Seawind sailed from Wellington for Timaru with two oil tanks loaded on deck, the surplus tanks having been removed from the Exxon-Mobil site at Seaview, Wellington. She arrived back in Wellington on 26th October 2009.
In June 2009, the man who helped save the historic Edwin Fox sailing ship, on display in Picton, wants the Historic Places Trust to take over its conservation to look after it for future generations. Edwin Fox Society president Chris Brown said the trust, which has placed a category-one listing on the ship, is best placed to look after such an important part of New Zealand history. Edwin Fox is 154 years old and is listed as the ninth oldest ship in the world. It’s also the world's oldest merchant ship, the oldest surviving immigrant ship that brought settlers to New Zealand, and the last surviving convict ship that took convicts to Australia. “If it isn’t taken over this way, a future committee could run it down the gurgler,” he said. The ship, which is in a dry dock on the foreshore close to the Edwin Fox Centre, is a major tourist attraction, visited by close to 10,000 people annually. Mr. Brown, who initiated the campaign to preserve the ship, said putting it in the Historic Places Trust’s hands was the only long-term solution as committee members were getting older and would not be around for ever. The ship made a profit (NZ$20,000 this year), had no debt and the society paid between NZ$48,000 and $50,000 annually in wages to people running the centre, Mr. Brown said. There was also a bequest from a Christchurch family of NZ$110,000 put aside for future use. Mr. Brown said an informal approach had been made to the trust to administer Edwin Fox, with the society to possibly change from an incorporated body to Friends of the Edwin Fox. However, another Edwin Fox devotee, Marlborough author Don Grady, is unhappy at the idea. He has written a book called Saving the Edwin Fox, which is currently with a publisher in Auckland. He would like $100,000 from the Edwin Fox Society to help cover publishing costs. Mr. Grady said there appeared to be no chance of his getting any money from the benefactor towards his book. Mr. Brown said the bequest was specifically contributed toward the cost of building a replica cabin on the boat or to maintaining the ship and could not be used to publish a book. The Historic Places Trust central region’ acting general manager, Robert McClean, said discussions had been held with the Edwin Fox Society about the possibility of a takeover, but it had not been formally considered. Different management options were continuing to be explored, he said.
The ironsands bulker Taharoa Express (74,364 gross tonnage, built 1990) arrived at Taharoa Terminal on 6th March 2009 and completed loading on 9th March. She arrived at Qingdao on 27th March and Kagogawa on 3rd April to discharge ironsands, and then sailed on 4th April for drydocking at Hyundai-Vinashin, Ninh Hoa, Vietnam, where she arrived on 10th April 2009. (Ninh Hoa is about twentyfive miles north of Nha Trang). Here she underwent extensive survey and repair work, not completing this until 27th May 2009. Whilst she was out of service, New Zealand Steel used the opportunity to substantially refurbish the single-mooring buoy. On 16th March the buoy was disconnected from its mooring chains, and was towed to New Plymouth by Margaret-J, where it arrived on 17th March. The large buoy was lifted ashore at New Plymouth on 19th March, and much sandblasting, welding and repainting took place over the following few weeks. On completion of this work, the buoy was “re-launched” afloat on 1st May and towed north to Kawhia a few days later. The buoy was back on-site by 25th May, and by 26th May had been reconnected to its six mooring chains and under-buoy slurry hoses, with the mooring rope fitted on 27th May. Taharoa Express sailed from her Vietnamese drydock on 27th May, and arrived back at Taharoa to load on 13th June 2009. However, some further water tightness testing was deemed to required prior to loading, and she diverted to Tasman Bay, where she anchored north of Nelson on 14th June 2009. After this work was completed, she arrived back at and berthed at Taharoa Terminal on 18th July. After loading, she sailed on 21st July 2009 for China. Taharoa Express was expected back at Taharoa on 1st August 2009, but because of bad weather, diverted to Tasman Bay, where she anchored late at night on 1st August to await an improvement in weather conditions. She sailed from Tasman Bay on 5th August, berthed at Taharoa Terminal on 7th August and after loading, sailed on 9th August for Qingdoa and Kakogawa. She arrived back at Taharoa on 22nd September 2009, and sailed on 25th September for Rizhoa after loading 116,700 tonnes of ironsands.
A Transport Accident Safety Commission investigation report, after the near-capsize of the cargo ship Taharoa Express off Taranaki in June 2007, made public on 28th May 2009, criticised Maritime New Zealand’s’s overview of the ship’s port at Taharoa (see Vol.55, No.2). The final report found there was little control of operations at Taharoa, where Maritime New Zealand was responsible for navigational safety and appointment of harbourmasters. “The primary harbourmaster had little to do with the port and rarely visited. The risk of capsize from the cargo shifting was not recognised by anybody on the ship, its managers, the port or regulatory authorities. Maritime New Zealand had failed to complete a risk assessment at Port Taharoa. It was still in draft form three years after it was started, and was “significantly flawed”, failing to give information about maximum loads the ship could handle. Maritime New Zealand said it accepted the commission’s recommendations and had already asked Lloyd’s of Australia to complete the port review. The report found the actions of a harbour pilot on board had saved the ship from capsizing. Woken by a violent roll, the pilot arrived on the bridge and saw the ship was listing by fifteen degrees. He ordered it to change course and slow down. It was listing by twentytwo degrees before reaching Tasman Bay, near Nelson.
MSC “Capricorn” Service Changes
In late May 2009 it was announced that three ships would be replaced on the MSC “Capricorn” service. MSC Krittika would be replaced by MSC Nederland (37,071 gross tonnage, built 1992), MSC Jemima would be replaced by MSC Tina (42,259 gross tonnage, built 1986), and MSC Canberra would be replaced by MSC Sardinia (36,270 gross tonnage, built 1986) from June 2009. By October 2009 MSC Santhya (37,071 gross tonnage, built 1991) had replaced MSC Tina. MSC Jessica (23,291 gross tonnage, built 1980, built as Shaw Savill’s Dunedin) was sold in mid-May 2009 to Indian shipbreakers and beached at Alang on 6th June 2009. On 4th August 2009, six workers were charred to death in a fire at Alang ship breaking yard, Bhavnagar. Some workers of Alang Auto Company were cutting down the engine portion of fully cellular containership MSC Jessica when she caught fire, and fire officials took almost three hours to douse the blaze.
New Restrictions for Antarctic Cruises
It was announced in April 2009 that cruiseships carrying more than five hundred passengers would be prevented from landing in Antarctica under mandatory rules agreed by the Antarctic Treaty governments. The treaty governments also agreed to restrict the number of passengers that could be ashore at any one time to one hundred. Recent incidents including the sinking of Explorer and the grounding of cruiseships Lybov Orlova and Nordkapp have highlighted the potential dangers of cruise tourism to the fragile Antarctic eco-system. Although the treaty countries made progress on marine protected areas and tourism regulation, they failed to agree on wording on a final report on the urgent need for a deal on climate change at the planned negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009. The parties agreed to work with the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to establish a network of protected areas in the Southern Ocean. The eleven areas designated by the commission were endorsed, including the Ross Sea. Antarctic tourism has doubled every five years over the past decade. In the 2008 to 2009 summer season more than 38,000 tourists travelled to Antarctica, mostly by sea.
New Plymouth’s ETL Group
New Plymouth’s ETL Group has been providing critical pilotage, logistics and other support services for offshore operations for nearly twenty years, all without a single lost time incident during offshore operations. “We believe we run a pretty slick operation in what can be a pretty hostile and hazardous environment. I believe the fact that we have not had any lost time injuries bears testament to that,” says ETL chief executive Mike Murdoch. ETL, which now employs over forty staff, entered the offshore energy sector, providing marine survey and logistics support, in 1996 when it won a contract to provide mooring and cargo surveying services for Maui field operator Shell Todd Oil Services for the first floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in the country. Whakaaropai sat off the Taranaki coast for about ten years, processing almost 35 million barrels of oil, with ETL supervising over 170 offtakes by visiting tankers that took the sweet light oil to the Marsden Point Refinery or Australia for further processing into petrol, diesel, aviation fuel, bitumen and other refined products. Then, as part of Offshore Solutions, ETL won a similar contract, providing pilotage, mooring and cargo supervisory services for the second FPSO to arrive in New Zealand waters, FPSO Umuroa, that has been processing, storing and offloading crude from the more northern Tui field since mid-2007. There have now been over eighty offtakes of Tui crude. Offshore Solutions is a joint venture between ETL, fellow New Plymouth-based Swire Pacific Offshore NZ and Wellington’s Seaworks Ltd. ETL has now obtained up its third such contract, for the FPSO Raroa that started processing and storing oil from the more southern Maari field during 2009. The first offloading of Maari crude took place in early April 2009 with the first two of five production wells flowed over 26,000 barrels of crude oil per day. ETL has also provided logistics support for a number of other operations, including assisting with the installation of the Maari wellhead platform last year in conjunction with the lead contractor, Australia’s Clough Projects International, and New Plymouth’s Fitzroy Engineering Group Ltd. (FEGL). ETL also managed the marine operations project for the installation of the FPSO Raroa on its special buoy nearby. Offshore support work is a specialist field, particularly off Taranaki where conditions in the Tasman Sea can be worse than in the North Sea off the east coast of Britain. “It’s a lengthy, delicate and complex operation, helping supertankers, all of which are too big to enter Port Taranaki, moor up to the FPSO and then offload up to 650,000 barrels of crude.” That can take any up to twenty hours or so during times when there can be swells of several metres or more and general weather conditions to contend with. “We essentially ‘walk the tanker up’ from when she is two kilometres away. Then one of the support vessels, with the help of a static tow line, assists the tanker to within 65 metres or so of the FPSO. The support vessels then help with the hook up of the cargo transfer hose from the FPSO to the tanker. “But sea conditions can change quite quickly; we have total control of the shipping.” Swire Pacific provides support vessels, such as Pacific Chieftain and Pacific Warlock, to assist with such operations, while Port Taranaki vessels, usually the tug Rupe, also assist with Umuroa operations. Seaworks supply the Nelson-based line handling ship Seawatch for Raroa operations as Maari is a lot further south. ETL is also responsible for bills of lading, which are critical to the success to cargo sales, all cargo documentation, time logs and other things, including whether the vessels comply with all necessary codes of practice. Samples of the cargo are also taken for testing to ensure the customer is indeed getting “the good oil”. “Our marine masters (Captain Achal Swarup and Captain (Jag) Jagdeep S Dhindsa) also act as representatives for the field operator, which is Australian Worldwide Exploration for Tui, and Austrian firm OMV for Maari.” ETL is the only company in the country doing such FPSO work, which accounts for about eighty per cent of the firm’s business.
On 1st March 2009 Finance Minister Bill English cast doubt on whether the Government would provide theNZ$1.5 billion needed to keep KiwiRail's current services and pay for upgrades over the next five years. Documents showed NZ$473 million in subsidies would be needed as well as NZ$764 million for upgrades and NZ$275 million for services in the main centres. Mr. English said in an interview KiwiRail was losing money and it would have to be propped up. The previous government bought KiwiRail in 2008 for NZ$690 million and said at the time it would need millions more to upgrade it. Documents showed that running the existing network commercially would mean shutting down fortyone percent of lines (the network needs to shrink from 4,000 to 2,300 kilometres), including chunks of main lines. Accounts published in mid-October 209 showed that KiwiRail produced a NZ$16 million annual operating profit, after a NZ$320 million write-down on the price the Government paid for rail and ferry assets is excluded. The accounts show KiwiRail produced NZ$652 million of revenue in the June year and the $16 million surplus, when the write-down on the acquisition price is excluded.
KiwiRail blamed the recession for a thirteen per cent fall in its freight volumes. It said that the proposed increase in the weight trucks are allowed to carry could affect ten per cent of its revenue. The company’s three Interislander ferries carried 2.2 per cent fewer commercial vehicles, 6.4 per cent fewer passengers and 2.9 per cent fewer passenger vehicles. KiwiRail reported a loss before Crown and Regional Council funding of NZ$186 million in the year to 30 June 2009. After the funding it reported a surplus of NZ$238.7 million. Before depreciation of $215.9 million and finance charges of NZ$34 million KiwiRail reported a profit of NZ$63.33 million. KiwiRail operates the commuter rail services in Wellington and the number of passengers carried increased 2.8 per cent on last year. The company details spending on the rail network and rolling stock, which has already been signalled, and notes that Arahura, the only one it still owns, is within seven years of needing to be replaced.
Interislander Ferry Propellers Stolen
During late June 2009, thieves stole NZ$240,000-worth of brass propeller blades from a ferry storeyard in Wellington. Police investigated the theft from the Interislander ferry’s storage unit at the Aotea Quay rail yards. Six bow thruster blades, each weighing between 80 and 100 kilogrammes, were stored in crates and most probably moved by forklift, police considered. The heavy metal blades were for use as spares by the ferries Kaitaki and Arahura. The stolen blades were later found at a Seaview scrap metal yard, after the operator had reported to police, and Interislander recovered them after payment of a modest fee.
Cook Strait Ferry Refits and Lay-Ups
The winter “off-season” is when Cook Strait ferries go for their dry dockings and refits. Strait Shipping’s Santa Regina sailed from Wellington on 18th July 2009 and dry-docked at Devonport, Auckland on 20th July. She came out of dry-dock on 1st August and resumed commercial service from Wellington on the afternoon of the same day. Interislander’s Kaitaki sailed from Wellington on 7th August for Brisbane for drydocking. She returned to Wellington on 10th September and resumed full commercial service from Wellington on 13th September. Kent carried Interislander freight from 11 August on three night sailings per week to Picton, sailing from Kings Wharf in Wellington, and using Kaitaki’s berth in Picton. In Picton, the Quaysailors and passenger gangway were temporarily removed so that Kent’s “overhanging” hull shape did not damage them. Kent had made a trial stern-in berthing in Wellington at RFT3 (Kaitaki’s berth) on 8th July 2009. After Kaitaki returned, Kent then operated one sailing per week from Wellington to Lyttelton and Wellington to Nelson, and laid up for the other half of the week at Wellington. When Kaitaki returned to service, Arahura operated a reduced-service whilst traffic volume was low, making a sailing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, laying-up on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On 24th September it was announced that Interislander Line were keeping Kaitaki, and that they had extended a charter for the P&O ferry for another three years. Kaitaki, itself chartered by P&O from Irish Ferries, has been operating in the Cook Strait on a five-year charter, and will now serve in Cook Strait until at least 2013. It will cope with an increase in demand forecast during the Rugby World Cup in 2011. The original five-year charter was due to expire in June 2010, but there was an option to extend.
The 1908-built scow Jane Gifford was formally re-launched on 16th May 2009 into the Mahurangi River at Warkworth, north of Auckland. She had earlier been put into the water for testing purposes on 14th May. In 1999 she had been pulled out of the water for a rebuild, which commenced at Okahu Bay on the Waitemata Harbour. Progress stalled until 2005, when she was moved to Warkworth for rebuilding, which has just been completed.
Westport and Holcim’s Cement Plant Plans
On 18th September 2008 an article appeared in the “Westport News” saying that Holcim New Zealand would be able to take 4,000 tonnes more cement per voyage in a new ship designed to work from Timaru, than by using a new ship designed for Westport. A Holcim newsletter revealed that the company is working on two new designs for a bulk cement carrier to replace Westport, one of its current two ships. One design is for ship capable of carrying 8,000 tonnes, which would be required if the Westport cement works continued. The other is for a 12,000 tonne capacity vessel to work from Timaru. It would be needed if Holcim proceeded with its proposed new works at Weston, near Oamaru. Weston cement would be railed to a new, yet to be built, storage and loading facility at the port of Timaru. Both ships would take more than Holcim’s current vessels. Westport (3,091 gross tonnage, built 1975) has a capacity of about 3,500 tonnes, while Milburn Carrier II (6,200 gross tonnage, built 1987) can lift about 6,000 tonnes. However, conditions at the Westport bar mean they seldom take a full load. The company intended to replace Westport by 2012. Holcim ships deliver cement mainly to the ports of Onehunga, Lyttelton and Wellington. The cement ships usually leave Westport between only half and two thirds full, the company said. Westport can take 3,900 tonnes, but its average load was only 2,600 tonnes. Milburn Carrier II could take 6,800 tonnes, but its average load was only 3,600 tonnes. Westport’s harbour bar conditions were claimed to long be a problem for Holcim, forcing it to rail and truck cement at times. However, on 19th September, former Westport harbourmaster Captain David Barnes said that the bar conditions were a problem because the cement ships were not designed for the bar. Holcim had continually blamed Westport’s poor bar depths for shipping problems, but Captain Barnes said that the main problem was because Holcim’s present vessels are, and always have been, totally unsuited to efficiently work the Westport bar. “This is all the more amazing in that they were built by the company to specifically work from Westport, where the historic average available draught is always 4.8 to 5.2 metres. Why, then, was Milburn Carrier II designed and built with a fully-loaded draught of 7 metres knowing it could never be achieved?” There were only two specific trips some ten years ago when we managed 6,850 and 6,995 tonnes. To make matters worse, the ship was weighed down with a container crane and equipment which was seldom used. “Unrelated to carrying cement, it alone shuts out an accumulated 7,000 tonnes of cement a year. Shallow-draught barges had been able to sail from Westport with 5,000 tonnes of cement while the cement ships could not sail with 2,000 tonnes. In twenty-plus years of life, Milburn Carrier II had operated at about fifty per cent capacity. The shipping problems would not go away by moving to Weston and shipping from Timaru. Delivery port silo capacity at Auckland had long been a significant problem. Onehunga, the nearest port to Auckland, from Timaru, took about fifty per cent of cement production, but also had a problematic bar harbour and was 208 nautical miles further from Timaru than from Westport. The voyage from Westport took about twentyfour hours compared with thirtynine hours at the same speed from Timaru.
In January 2009 a Notice to Mariners advised that from the 12th January 2009 the continuous twentyfour-hour service provided by the Duty Harbourmaster would be discontinued. A media report gave more information;-“Buller Port Services (BPS) is to cut the Westport’s round-the-clock harbourmaster cover, citing lack of port traffic. Westport harbourmaster Captain John Taylor said there would be gaps in coverage due to the decision. BPS had decided in October 2008 that it would not reappoint a deputy. Former Westport harbourmaster David Barnes said lives could be at risk. Westport’s bar harbour presented particular risk, he said. “The bar’s notoriously dangerous.” Accidents had happened even with harbourmaster cover, he said, citing two deaths that occurred during his own ten-year tenure as harbourmaster. Captain Barnes, who’s also a Buller District Councillor, stepped down three years ago. In the port’s history there had been numerous deaths linked to the bar, he said. BPS general manager Dave Skinner said there was no longer the traffic to justify two harbourmasters. The fall in trade caused when the port lost coal shipments in 2007 was a big factor in the reduced cover, he said. In mid-August 2009 the Environment Court declined an appeal against a proposed NZ$300 million cement plant at Weston, near Oamaru. The court confirmed the consents for Holcim New Zealand to build the plant if it decides to proceed with the proposal. The company wanted the option to build a new plant if it decides to relocate from Westport, where it has a plant at Cape Foulwind. The Otago Regional and Waitaki District Councils had granted resource consent in February 2008 but this was appealed. A new cement plant at Weston would produce nearly 900,000 tonnes of cement a year. “Positive:” to “disappointed” were the range of reactions to the Environment Court decision Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd. welcomed the decision but still has to decide whether to build the factory, and Holcim is not expected to make that decision until 2010. “We understand that people will now look to us for an answer on whether the plant will go ahead or not,” Holcim's capital projects manager Ken Cowie said. However, that was a “very significant business decision”, which had to be made with care. Further studies needed to be carried out, including a detailed costing of the project, before the New Zealand board made a recommendation to its parent company in Switzerland, which would make the final decision. The new cement plant was given resource consents by the Otago Regional and Waitaki District Councils in February 2008, but they were appealed to the Environment Court. If built, the new plant would cover a site of about 24 ha., initially producing 650,000 tonnes of cement a year, rising to 880,000 tonnes at full production. There would be a coal mine at Ngapara and sand quarry at Windsor. The proposed Weston cement plant offered a potential lifeline to Timaru’s port. The cement would probably be shipped out of Timaru because Holcim has already named Timaru as its preferred option. A bulk cement carrier takes up to 12,000 tonnes, which means the plant’s annual production would equate to at least seventyfive shipments a year from Timaru. Cement production was predicted to begin in 2012, assuming the parent company signed off the proposal and construction went to schedule. The cement would be transported by rail from the Weston plant near Oamaru and then loaded through a hose system at Timaru. A light wharf would have to be built and a silo ashore was required to store the cement. All the cement from the Weston plant would be destined for the New Zealand market.
The cement carrier Milburn Carrier (2,962 gross tonnage, built 1972) was built by J.J. Sietas KG Sciffwerft GmbH& Co. for New Zealand coastal trading. In 1989 she was sold and renamed Arklow River, in 1996 she was renamed Cem River, in February 2004 was further renamed Cem Rio , and she became Rhodos Cement in May 2004, managed by Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Skips A/S, Norway. She was of 4,151 tonnes deadweight. After a period of lay-up at Limassol, Cyprus, she arrived at Esbjerg, Denmark, during April 2009 for demolition.
Sanford Purchase Icelandic trawler
On 16 April 2009 it was announced that Sanford Ltd. was investing NZ$2 million to increase its stake in a fish-processing plant at Weihai, Shandong, China and in purchasing a second-hand trawler Gorm (113 gross tonnage, built 2003) for NZ$3 million for use in New Zealand’s inshore fishing industry. Gorm’s hull was built by CRIST Spolka Z.O.O., Gdansk, Poland and was outfitted by Osey HF, Hafnarfjordur, Iceland and was registered at Glyvrar under Faroe Islands flag, and owned by Kneysur P/F. She is 21.95-metres length, 6.66 metres beam, has accommodation for nine crew, and was due in New Zealand about August 2009.
Fullers Ferries Sold by Infratil
Infratil’s sale of Fullers ferries was part of a retreat from underperforming businesses to repay debt. The infrastructure investor announced on 6th April 2009 that subsidiary NZ Bus was selling its interest in Fullers for NZ$40 million to Souter Holdings, majority owned by Stagecoach co-founder Brian Souter. Infratil will retain its NZ Bus operations in Wellington, Hutt Valley, Auckland and Whangarei. Infratil said the deal was part of a plan of divestments which would realise more than NZ$100 million. The money would be used to repay debt of about NZ$1.2 billion including infrastructure bonds, perpetual bonds and bank debt. Infratil executive Tim Brown said the NZ$100 million also included exercising the right to sell Lubeck Airport in Germany, worth about $60 million, and the sale of some bus depot properties in Auckland. “In this environment we do have to look at recycling some capital and cut back on where you can’'t see them generating strong returns. The short term for us is going to be debt repayment but in the medium term there are various opportunities.” In 2005 Stagecoach NZ sold its bus services and ferry business to Infratil for NZ$253 million. Souter Holdings, which operates Howick & Eastern buses in Auckland, also has a seventyfour per cent ownership of Mana Coachlines in Wellington.
Motueka’s Wharf to be Heritage Site
At the end of March 2009, Motueka’s old wharf had been recognised as a site of heritage value and could be placed on the National Register of historic places. The New Zealand Historic Places Trust was researching heritage sites in Tasman district, and “Motueka wharf is the first heritage site we will look to hopefully give formal recognition to in the coming months”, said Ann Neill, the trust’s central region manager. The trust is working with the wharf’s co-owners, the Tasman District Council and Department of Conservation, on a proposed restoration project. Though the wharf was first identified in the late 1970s as being a place of historic significance, it was not formally placed on the National Register at that time. The trust is now going through the process to officially include the site on the register.
Bunkering Tanker “Awanuia”
The bunkering tanker Awanuia (intended for service between Marsden Point to Auckland) was built in Turkey by Yardimci Tersanesi A.S., Tuzla, Yard No. 61. She was launched on 6th August 2008, and completed 28th February 2009. She is of 2,750 gross tonnage, 3,900 tonnes deadweight and 1,180 net, and 79.90 metres length overall, 15.00 metres beam and 5.9 metres loaded draught. She has twin funnels and twin azimuth propulsion. Built with a double-hull, she has four sets of wing cargo tanks plus one slop tank located between Nos. 1 and 2 tanks. Her service speed is eleven knots. She carried out trials in mid-April 2009, but did not sail from the shipyard for New Zealand until 3rd June 2009, registered in Malta for her delivery voyage via Singapore. She arrived at Port Said on 5th June 2009 and by 13th June had safely passed the Horn of Africa, but then had to put into Salassa, Oman, to rectify engine problems. She sailed from Oman on 26th June bound for Colombo, Singapore and Auckland, but she was only seventy miles off Salassa when further engine trouble compelled her to return to Salassa. She eventually arrived at Singapore on 22nd July 2009, and after loading fuel oil, sailed from Singapore on 29th July, arrived at Cairns for bunkers on 11th August, and finally arrived at Auckland on 19th August 2009, many weeks behind her original schedule. It is understood that she is chartered by Shell Company of Australia, Melbourne. She has an exact sistership from the same shipyard, the French-flag FS Camille (Yard No. 54 completed in December 2005), which operates at Marseilles. Awanuia was formally re-registered at Auckland on 1st September 2009. A “christening” ceremony was held in Auckland on 8th September. She sailed from Auckland on the evening of 9th September, and arrived at Marsden Point to carry out berthing trials before loading her first cargo from there on 10th September 2009. However, it is understood that she more engine trouble before she arrived at Marsden Point on the morning of 10th September, resulting in a stoppage outside the port. On resumption of passage later the same day, she had more engine trouble whilst berthing, resulting in her being berthed by two tugs. Awanuia sailed from Marsden Point for trials on 15th September. She was moored on the new berth built for her inshore of the existing refinery berths and finally commenced loading her first fuel oil cargo at Marsden Point on 21st September and sailed from Marsden Point on 23rd September for Auckland, where she arrived in the early hours of 24th September. After bunkering operations, she was also used to load a cargo of light fuel oil from the oil tanks at Wynyard Wharf (to empty those tanks), and this also was used for bunkering operations. Awanuia arrived for her second loading at Marsden Point on 28th October 2009, returned to Auckland on 29th October, and thereafter settled down to regular loadings of bunker oil at Marsden Point and bunkering operations to ships in Auckland. The old bunkering tanker Tolema 1 (588 gross tonnage, built 1976) had already been laid up in Auckland and was advertised for sale.
In Vol.56, No. 2 we mentioned that the Timaru-registered Jaguar (1,044 gross tonnage, built 1985), owned by Leslie Shipping Ltd. (Black Robin Shipping Ltd.) had berthed at Colon, Panama Canal, on 9th February 2009. She underwent extensive engine repair work there, and eventually sailed on the afternoon of 9th August 2009, (Panama time) (10th August NZ time) on her southbound transit of the Panama Canal. She cleared the southern end of the Panama Canal on 10th August (Panama date, 11th August NZ date), bound for Timaru, where she arrived on 27th September 2009.
Since being purchased by Leslie Shipping in late 2008, she had undergone a significant upgrade in Panama and had also been used to carry cargo in the Caribbean. Leslie Shipping managing director Kelvyn Leslie said “various options” were currently being considered for the New Zealand-flagged ship, which shortly after arrival was undergoing a Maritime New Zealand audit and survey. “The main trade we have been looking at is from New Zealand to South America returning via Australia,” he told the Shipping Gazette. “The ship is an IMO Class-one certified carrier, so it can carry dangerous goods on or under deck.” Mr. Leslie said mining explosives and possibly military equipment could be the main bulk cargoes attracted to such a service. “It is a work in progress. We are not putting in a dedicated liner service, we are basically on demand. We are looking at several options and talking to a number of people at the moment.” When initially acquired, the vessel was expected to provide a bulk domestic coastal service and to offer periodic coverage to Leslie Shipping’s Chatham Islands schedule. “The Chathams situation has changed a bit now that we have 44 South Shipping running in there (with Baldur). There is certainly not room for three ships. “The idea last year, apart from doing international work, was to bring her in to basically carry grain north and fertiliser south. But last season’s grain hasn’t sold and was disappointing in terms of the amount moved. The downturn in the dairy industry means the amount of fertiliser being applied has fallen as well. “The coastal industry is still up in the air. At the time we bought the ship we had a programme called Sea Change of course, which was going to assist us in all sorts of ways.” Jaguar was scheduled to sail from Timaru on 4th November 2009 for the Chathams.
Anzac-Frigates to be Fitted with New Engines
On 1st December 2008 it was announced that the Navy’s two Anzac-frigates were to get new main engines as part of their mid-life upgrade. The first of the frigates, H.M.N.Z.S. Te Kaha, was launched in Melbourne in 1995 and commissioned into the Navy two years later. Her sister ship H.M.N.Z.S. Te Mana, was launched in 1997 and commissioned in Tauranga in 1999. Both ships were fitted with two gas turbines and two diesel engines, giving them a top speed of close to thirty knots. Four new engines for the two ships arrived in Auckland at the Devonport Naval Base during December 2008. The new engines cost NZ$7 million for each ship, said Captain Fred Keating, assistant chief of navy (capability). He said the new engines would give better performance and fuel economy at up to eighteen or nineteen knots until the gas turbines kicked in for high-speed runs. He said in the ten years since the 3,600-tonne ships were commissioned they had “grown” by up to two tonnes a year as more capability was added. “That is extra weight we have to move.” Some parts from the old engines would be retained as spares for the new engines. Te Kaha was to be fitted with new engines in a sixteen -week refit in the middle of 2009 and Te Mana would follow. In order to fit the new engines into the engine rooms the Seasparrow missiles astern of the funnel needed to be removed. He said with only two frigates the Navy had to balance availability with defence demands.
‘Sea Change’ Funding
A total of nineteen applications amounting to NZ$17.8 million were made to the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) domestic sea freight development fund by the 31st October 2008 deadline. A funding panel was established to assess the applications, and its recommendations were considered by the NZTA board on 18th December 2008. A maximum of NZ$6 million funding was available for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. However, a proposed second funding round was expected to be held in February 2009 to deal with applications for funding during 2009-2010. One of the key targets of the NZTA strategy was to double coastal shipping’s share of inter-regional freight by 2040. The purpose of the domestic sea freight development fund is to help the sea freight sector prepare for a greater role in New Zealand’s freight system. It was announced on 19th December 2008 that from the 2008-2009 funding round, seven applications had been approved and the decision on a further five applications were deferred: but they could apply for funding from future funding rounds. The application assessment process highlighted a number of information gaps around the domestic sea freight sector. Six of the seven applications approved were for studies that would gather this valuable information about the sector to inform future funding rounds. The 2000-2010 funding round was held in February 2009 with NZ$10 million available. This contestable fund sought proposals that best support the aims of “Sea Change: Transforming coastal shipping in New Zealand” and the New Zealand Transport Strategy and sought applications on: Domestic sea freight studies and investigations into new coastal shipping operations within and between regions, new coastal shipping infrastructure and improvements to existing services. Study projects dominated the first domestic sea freight development funding round, with only one of the seven successful applications being for an existing service improvement. A total of nineteen applications had vied for the NZ$6 million available in the first round. However, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) opted to only allocate NZ$2 million, with five applications being deferred and seven declined. Successful applications were: Port Taranaki, for a blue highway bridge study, $100,000, Cubic Transport Services, for a container supply study, $25,000, Buller Port Services, for a fuel farm feasibility project (study), $20,000, Eastland Group and Port of Napier, for a Gisborne to Napier coastal shipping link (study), $60,000, Winstone Pulp International, for a Gisborne timber products sea freight (study), $73,000, Coastal Bulk Shipping for Anatoki sponsons (existing service improvement), $1.31 million and Rockpoint Corporate Finance for analysis of coastal shipping solutions relative to other freight modal choices, stage one (study), with funding allocation still to be negotiated
New Zealand seems to have decided that the so-called “hub and spoke” system is best for transport of containers. However, a contrary view is that it is actually not certain that the hub-feeder system will be able to secure supply as fast as the multi-port system. The greater the distance, the more time the hub-feeder system loses compared with the multi-port system, the study states. “In Europe this effect does not carry weight”, it adds. But in Asiatic dimensions, the multi-port container could reach its destination about two days earlier. “For capital intensive goods, such as electronic products or machine parts, this is a decisive disadvantage”, the study argues. In addition, the distribution of tasks within a hub-feeder system could lead to the dependence of owners on single hub ports. “Through such a monopoly is to the benefit of the ports the owners will be dependent on the port operators”, the study warns. In addition, a working scheme of this kind would eliminate backup capacities in case of a strike or accident. As a result, owners would have to bear the risk of non-productive waiting time or even penalties for delayed delivery. “If today’s multi-port system was displaced by the hub-feeder system there would be completely new prerequisites for container transport”, the study says. It assumes that there would be some hub ports with a very capable port infrastructure, while the others would concentrate on feeder traffic. The study wonders why shipping firms were continuing to demand ever larger vessels, assuming that shipowners tried to put the ports under permanent pressure. Despite all the problems, the hub-feeder system could benefit from the very high investments necessary, which could make port operators or the public refrain from further pursuing a multiple-port status, the study says.
However, on 18th March 2009 the new Government confirmed that spending commitments made by the previous Labour administration to coastal shipping would be upheld, but no further funds would be made available. The government also said that it wants to “let the market decide”, regarding coastal shipping. The previous administration’s package, called Sea Change, committed NZ$36 million for coastal shipping over four years, with the bulk of the funds to be allocated in the second, third and fourth years.
“Hikitia” Drydocked at Lyttelton
The Wellington 1926-built floating steam crane Hikitia was booked on the Graving Dock at Lyttelton during June and July 2009. She sailed from Wellington late on the evening of 3rd June 2009 in tow of the CentrePort tug Toia, cleared port early next morning, and after an eventless tow in calm weather, arrived at Lyttelon early on the morning of 5th June 2009. She went into the Graving Dock on 8th June 2009, with the veteran steam tug Lyttelton in the dock ahead of her. Hikitia was refloated and towed from the Graving Dock on 13th July 2009 by the Sumner Lifeboat LPC Rescue (formerly P&O Nedlloyd Rescue and prior to that an RNLI Thames class lifeboat based in the North of Scotland at Islay). The veteran steam tug Lyttelton returned to her usual berth at No. 2 east and Hikitia berthed on the inner end of No. 2 west, which was the favored berth for the sister steam crane Rapaki for many years. On 20th October Hikitia carried out the lift in Lyttelton of the ice plant from No. 6 wharf to No.7, assisted by the tug Purau and workboat LPC Rescue. Hikitia sailed from Lyttelton in tow of the CentrePort tug Toia (herself returning toWellington after a routine drydocking at Lyttelton) on 4th November and arrived back in Wellington on 5th November 2009.
After building on the Clyde, Hikitia left Glasgow on 29th September 1926 under Captain J Fullerton bound for Ponta Delgado in the Azores, a distance of 1,445 miles. She arrived on 9th October 1926. After bunkering, she left for Colon and the Panama Canal, passing through on 2nd November1926. Hikitia arrived in Wellington on 21st December 1926 after a voyage of eightytwo days. It has been generally accepted that Hikitia's delivery voyage represents a record distance sailed by a vessel of this type with its jib up. In 1989 she was put up for tender and an enthusiastic couple Bob and Mary Box and John and Joy Ackrill bought her on 12th April 1990, for preservation. Later, ownership was vested in a new Trust, who trustees include Nigel Gould [chairman], Bill Day, Alfie des Tombe, Peter McKnight and Malcolm McGregor. Funders for the refurbishment and operating expenses include Lotteries Grants Board, Community Trust of Wellington, Lion Foundation, Wellington City Council, Pelorus Trust, Pub Charity, Wellington Waterfront Ltd., CentrePort Limited.
In Vol.56, No.2, we briefly mentioned that the new tug Aoraki had arrived at Timaru on 28th October 2008. Her details are:-333 gross tonnage, 28.00 metres length overall, 9.8 metres beam and 4.00 metres draught. Her keel was laid on 22nd September 2006; she was launched on 6th May 2008, and was completed on 10th September 2008. Her hull construction was sub-contracted to Bengbu Shenzhou Machinery Co. Ltd., Benbu AH, Bengbu, Anhui, China. Her main Contractor was Pacific Ocean Engineering & Trading Pte Ltd., Singapore, whose Yard No. 1282 she was.
Fishing Vessel Betty T”
We last mentioned the fishing vessel Betty T (ex-MFV 1084) in Vol.53, No.3, when she arrived back in Wellington on 23rd August 2005 to take off the last of the diesel oil from the hulk of the fishing vessel Szap 8 berthed at Miramar Wharf, Wellington, before the latter was scuttled in Cook Strait. Anecdotal information during 2008 was that Betty T had broken her moorings or anchor chain in the Chathams (where she had been lying after her voyages with diesel from Wellington) and had gone aground, to become a total loss. Any confirmation of this information would be welcome.
China Navigation Takes over Tasman Orient Line
In April 2009, China Navigation (Swire Shipping Group) took full control of Tasman Orient Line, provider of multipurpose liner services between New Zealand and Asia. The group acquired the remaining one-third shareholding from Hamburg owner Christian Ahrenkiel for an undisclosed sum. Tasman Orient Line was formed in 1999 through the merger of Ahrenkiel’s New Zealand Orient Line and China Navigation’s Tasman Asia. Tasman Orient Line operated eleven large multipurpose vessels on container and breakbulk trades from New Zealand to Asia. Twice-monthly services are operated from New Zealand ports to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Swire Shipping also operates multiple trans-Tasman services between six ports in New Zealand and six ports in Australia. However, despite the sale of the Tasman Orient Line, both China Navigation and Ahrenkiel will continue to be partners in the ownership of Quadrant Pacific, New Zealand’s largest ship agency company, which has eight branches throughout the country. In late May 2009 China Navigation capitalised on its takeover of Tasman Orien
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