PORT Taranki has announced a NZ$1.5 million project to strengthen infrastructure at energy products wharf.

The North Island port plans to reinforce the terminal’s sea wall and increase stability in the event of an earthquake or severe weather.

It follows the installation of a new NZ$16 million freshwater firewater system on the terminal, completed late last year.

Project manager Eugene Bajema said the original design of the seawall didn’t prevent the fines – the sand infill behind the seawall – from washing out.

“This has regularly caused an area near the abutment, where the wharf meets the land, to subside,” he said.

“What we’ve done in the past is open it up, fill it up again and put asphalt over the top. However, as we are about to place the final monitor (water cannon) for the firewater system directly on this area, it was decided we needed to carry out a more permanent, long-term repair.”

Port Taranki said that repair is a substantial redesign and rebuild of the seawall around the abutment area.

“What we’re doing is widening the base of the seawall at the sea floor, so the seawall starts further out in the water and is thicker as it rises out of the water to ground level,” Mr Bajema said.

“By making it wider at the base, the angle of the seawall becomes shallower, and the waves’ angle of attack is less aggressive. The energy is then dissipated, making the seawall much more resilient to wave action.”

The wharf, originally the Newton King Tanker Terminal, has facilitated ships and trade for around 100 years.

“With the wharf having been in place for a century, I expect this work will help it last another 100 years at least,” Mr Bajema said.