PORT technology specialist OMC International has helped Lyttelton Port Company reduce dredging for the main entrance channel thanks to the use of Dynamic Under Keel Clearance technology.
One of the world’s largest dredgers is soon to start work enlarging the entrance channel and in the first stage of the project the existing 7km shipping channel is to be lengthened by 2.5km, widened by 20metres and deepened to increase maximum vessel draughts from 12.4metres to 13.3metres.
With bigger ships coming online, the channel deepening project is seen as necessary to ensure the Port can accommodate larger vessels and support Lyttelton’s future as the South Island’s international trade gateway.
LPC chief executive Peter Davie said dredging of the shipping channel would “enable larger ships to call at Lyttelton Port providing Canterbury’s importers and exporters the best possible and most cost effective international shipping solutions”.
“OMC provided LPC with two alternative channel design profiles,” project director Martin Watts said. “The first design was the most efficient design that could be achieved if LPC continued to use traditional methods for managing the under-keel clearance of deep-draught vessel transits. The second design was based on applying a more scientific decision-making process using OMC’s DUKC system.”
Mr Watts said LPC evaluated the costs and benefits of the two approaches and the outcome was clear.
“The decision to adopt the DUKC system has allowed LPC to reduce the dredging volume required for Stage 1 of the deepening project by more than 40% compared with initial estimates, which were based on standard industry guidelines,” he said.
“Adoption of DUKC will provide the port with a significant reduction in capital dredging costs and ongoing operational benefits through wider vessel sailing windows and a reduced risk of vessels grounding under severe conditions.”
Channel dredging is expected to be completed by November and Lyttelton Port expects to be able to accommodate deeper vessels by the end of 2018.