Delays on both sides of the Matakana dredging project may cancel each other out. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s contractor is unable to start the job because he’s missing an essential piece of equipment, a dewatering cyclone. It’s a cone-shaped device that extracts a lot of the water from the dredged slurry.
BOPRC project manager and technical advisor Bruce Gardner says although there has been a delay, the contractor has assured the council they can still meet the project goals and council staff are working with them to achieve that.
Due to the contractor being unable to obtain the dewatering cyclone, the long-awaited dredging of the Opureora Channel is delayed.
“We are currently working hard to start the job late-June/early-July, and still plan to complete it within the current consent window, which ends at the end of August 2017,” says Bruce.
Matakana ferry operator Glen Proctor says the builders of his new ferry are running about three weeks behind and in late-May wasn’t expected to arrive in the harbour for about another month.
Currently under construction by Shipco360 in Whangarei, the new barge is similar in appearance to the Matakana ferry Snookum, and is being built by the same company.
It is a double ender that will be able to carry two milk tankers – two truck and trailers, at once, instead of one. It will carry 120 tonnes instead of 40, but it needs slightly deeper water at 1.5m loaded compared to 1.2m empty, but the current ferry draws 1.2m full, and it only takes one truck.