Wharf work lights up as first Holcim ship nears

Robbie Mehrtens of Robbie Mehrtens Electrical says the cables he's laying for PrimePort's No 2 wharf are a whole new ...
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Robbie Mehrtens of Robbie Mehrtens Electrical says the cables he's laying for PrimePort's No 2 wharf are a whole new chapter for electrical cables in South Canterbury.

Giving power to PrimePort's No 2 wharf upgrade has turned into a groundbreaking exercise for a Timaru company.

The wharf, constructed by PrimePort as part of a 25-year deal with cement company Holcim, is on target for completion by the end of November.

With the cement ship unloader and ship unloader delivered to the Holcim dome by the MV Happy Dragon ship on Sunday, work has begun in earnest to make the wharf ready to receive its first cement ship from Japan in early December.

Holcim's newly-arrived ship unloader sits on the No 2 wharf.
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Holcim's newly-arrived ship unloader sits on the No 2 wharf.

Robbie Mehrtens Electrical on Tuesday began to lay eight 142 metre long, 44 millimetre Olex power cables capable of withstanding an 800 amp surge.

The cables, a new innovation out of New Plymouth, connect the port's main feed with the wharf.

It was the first time a cable of its size had been used in South Canterbury and potentially the first time in the South Island, Mehrtens said.

The cables would provide power for the lighting to at least five 18-metre light towers as well as meeting the electricity requirements of the ships that docked, Mehrtens said.

"It's a whole new chapter for electrical cables in South Canterbury, that's for sure," Mehrtens said.

"There's a lot of people who weren't even aware this sort of cable was available. PrimePort want the wharf to be future-proofed and this is a good way of doing it."

PrimePort acting chief executive Nick Donaldson said there had been a large amount of electrical work carried out to accommodate the Holcim project at the port.

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Alpine Energy had upgraded the main electric feed into the site to power the main blowers that push the cement along the pipes to and from the storage dome.

That feed would also complete a ring main at the port, which would have benefit for all users, Donaldson said.

"A number of contractors including JLE Electrical, working for Downer, and Robbie Mehrtens Electrical, working for PrimePort Timaru, have installed other electrical components."

Donaldson said PrimePort was pleased with the smooth handling of the Happy Dragon heavy lift.

 - Stuff

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