New navigation light installed at Timaru a world first
A flash new navigation light, which will help guide ships into Timaru, is the first of its kind to be installed anywhere in the world.
PrimePort Timaru marine manager Arun Chaudhari said the port entry light, located on top of a navigation beacon on the Benvenue Cliffs, was there to guide ships into the port by keeping them clear of shallow water.
Chaudhari said the previous model had been in place for 20 years, and with time having taken its toll on the light, they had decided to replace it.
"The new light is more powerful, the old one had begun to fade. These lights can be seen quite a distance out to sea. At nighttime, this light can be seen for 21 nautical miles, and that's almost 40kms.
"It's a very modern light ... we could probably be proud of Timaru having the first of its kind in the world, not just in New Zealand."
Chaudhari said the $50,000 replacement was an expensive "big-ticket item".
However, it was designed to be very low maintenance.
Both the old light and the new one had been made by New Zealand company Vega, a specialist in port navigation lights.
The light had been tested shortly after it had been installed on Thursday, by taking a container ship out of port on the pilot boat and Chaudhari said the light had been "working beautifully".
Vega Industries marketing manager Nina Ive said they were delighted to have installed one of the new lights "on home soil before we start exporting them around the world".
Ive said the big advantage of the new light was down to the changeover from the older technology of incandescent to LED.
"It's more powerful and more power friendly, so there's less power consumption."