First call shipshape for port's longest vessel

Last updated 13:00 05/10/2012

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A new length record for ships at Port Nelson is a significant step forward, Port Nelson chief executive Martin Byrne said today.

At 238 metres, the Olivia Maersk, which came through the Cut at midday yesterday, is 14m longer than the previous record-setter, Algarrobo, which arrived earlier in the year.

The port's ability to handle it meant that Maersk, the giant international container line, could increase its Nelson cargo-carrying capacity, Mr Byrne said.

Port Nelson senior maritime staff went on board the Olivia Maersk in North Island ports to observe the way it handled.

Based on that, and taking into account the ship's bow and stern thrusters, it was decided to accept the ship within special parameters such as daylight berthing for its first call, and wind limits during berthing, he said.

The Olivia Maersk left port today, bound for Port Chalmers.

Maersk was on the brink of dropping Nelson from its port calls earlier this year but changed its mind, adding the port to a run that connects with its major Asian container hub.

The run is Tanjang Pelepas in Malaysia, Singapore, Tauranga, Wellington, Nelson and Port Chalmers. The Malaysian port links with routes to the rest of the world.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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