In fact, the port applied to Auckland Council concerning the deepening project, while a resource consent hearing on the issue will be held next week.
Auckland's population is forecast to grow significantly, with a million more people expected to live here by 2050. More people means more demand for the products we all buy from overseas, which means more containerised imports and bigger container ships. Ports of Auckland must be ready to handle this growth.
...as the port stated.
At the moment, the biggest container ships calling in Auckland, carry up to 5.000 twenty-foot containers (TEU).
Although shipping companies aim to bring 6-7,000 TEU ships in Auckland ports within the following 2-3 years.
What is more, the port will need to be capable of hosting 'New Panamax' vessels, carrying around 12.000 TEU in the near future.
Currently, the channel is 12.5 metres deep at low tide, but New Panamax ships are 366 metres long with a maximum draft of 15.2 metres.
Furthermore, the deepening project includes ‘tidal windows’, which allow deeper draft ships to enter or leave port when the tide is high enough.
By using tidal windows, we can minimise dredging and reduce cost. It is the most efficient way to accommodate larger container ships.
...the port continued.
Concluding, in case that the initiative granted, work on deepening channel will start in 2021.