Lyttelton Port plans second inland site
Lyttelton Port (LPC) has conditionally bought 27 hectares in Rolleston, southwest of Christchurch, for the development of a second inland port.
The listed port company says the site is strategically located adjacent to the main south rail line that connects to CityDepot, LPC's established inland port in Woolston, and the Lyttelton container terminal.
It also has good access to main arterial roads, the port said.
The announcement comes on the heels of a similar investment by rival Port of Tauranga.
In mid-January Port of Tauranga said it would invest $20 million in an "inland port" at Rolleston to steer exports and imports to its half-owned Timaru port.
The announcement came six months after Tauranga bought half of Timaru's port for $21.6m.
The inland port investments also follow complaints from truckies about congestion at Lyttelton.
The port has had to consolidate its handling of containers in a smaller space while it runs a repair programme to deal with the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.
LPC said the new inland port would act as a hub for receiving, storing and consolidating containers and as a distribution point where containers were transferred between trucks and trains.
Chief executive Peter Davie said the development of a second inland port would have several benefits for the region.
"LPC has been working with land transport planning groups for the past few years and sees this development as a natural progression from these discussions.''
"This investment in a second inland port and other planned projects will strengthen our position as the main freight gateway in the South Island."
Rolleston was a good location for a second inland port with strong links to dairy suppliers, he said.
"It is also logical in terms of the movement and growth towards the western corridor.
"There will also be the potential for warehousing developments on adjacent sites that will have direct access to the inland port."
Increasing the use of rail to and from the port would have an important social benefit, with a reduction in truck congestion around Christchurch and in the port, Davie said.
Lyttelton port shares were untraded this morning and last traded at $3.15.