Lyttelton port fully operational despite suffering significant damage totalling tens of millions of dollars
Roger Hailey | LLOYD’S LIST
CHRISTCHURCH’s Lyttelton port is “fully operational” despite suffering “significant damage” totalling “tens of millions of dollars” in the New Zealand earthquake at the weekend.
The east coast port has reopened after an “extensive assessment” by structural engineers, following the quake, which struck New Zealand’s South Island early on Saturday morning.
A statement issued today by Lyttelton Port of Christchurch said: “LPC has sustained significant damage from Saturday morning’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake, centered approximately 40 km from the port. The cost to repair the damage to the port is likely to be tens of millions of dollars.
“Following the earthquake, LPC was able to resume operation of core services on Saturday. This required a significant amount of hard work from the entire LPC staff.”
The container terminal was able to resume full cargo operation at 1500 hrs on Sunday and there have been “limited effects on forecast shipping movements”.
The statement added: “LPC is working with all parties to ensure the effects on shipping and cargo transfer through the port are as minimal as possible. LPC’s engineering and maintenance staff will continue to access the damage to infrastructure, power supply and other services.”
In a message to customers, the port management said that the container terminal was fully operational, although berthing windows have been suspended until further notice
The City Depot is also fully operational, however the port warned of delays due to “safety concerns”.
THE US Federal Maritime Commission has told vessel and marine terminal operators it will help them speed the delivery of aid to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
“The FMC is committed to taking whatever steps we can under our jurisdiction to smooth the regulatory process and expedite shipment of cargo,” said commission chairman Richard Lidinsky.
The move is aimed at encouraging new water services from US ports to Haiti as soon as facilities there are able to receive them.
The FMC also told freight forwarders that they can give free or reduced-rate service to relief agencies shipping to Haiti, and marine terminal operators can waive or reduce charges for relief or reconstruction.
Meanwhile, the Maritime Administration announced that it is preparing a second high-speed superferry, Alakai, to offer passenger and cargo relief to Haiti. The organisation activated the first superferry and four other reserve ships earlier this week.
As a 6.1-intensity aftershock hit Port-au-Prince yesterday, the US Navy hospital ship Comfort began treating victims off Haiti’s coast.
ROYAL Caribbean has offered to ship aid to Haiti as the devastation caused by Tuesday’s massive earthquake becomes clearer.
A statement released by Royal Caribbean said: “Site inspections of Labadee, Haiti, our private destination, report no apparent damage to our buildings, pier and attractions.
“Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are eager to take guests, as well as humanitarian assistance, to Haiti as soon as possible, though we are awaiting confirmation from the Haitian government on when our return is feasible,” it continued.
The fact that the Labadee facility survived the disaster may be critical to improve the flow of humanitarian aid to Port-au-Prince, whose piers were badly damaged by the 7.0-intensity tremor, according to a US Coast Guard inspection.
IHS Global Insight commented: “There is a risk of outbreaks of violence within the coming weeks if humanitarian aid does not reach all of those affected. A refugee crisis could also arise, affecting the Dominican Republic and probably the United States; such a crisis can only be avoided if international aid reaches Haiti in time.”
With information from SAFETY AT SEA INTERNATIONAL
EARTHQUAKE relief at Port-au-Prince, Haiti is delayed indefinitely due to heavily damaged port facilities preventing vessel access to cargo docks.
“The real trick right now is trying to identify someplace in the area that is both suitable and safe to bring in a vessel,” Crowley spokesman Mark Miller told Fairplay today. “What kind of vessel that is, no one knows at his point. But whatever cargo is delivered will have to be handled either on a ro-ro basis or the carrier will have to have one or more cranes onboard,” Miller said.
The potential for unidentified debris submerged by the effects of the 7.0-intensity tremor can further complicate the situation, Miller added.
Crowley calls on Port-au-Prince twice a week. It diverted a vessel en route to Haiti at the time of the earthquake on 12 January to Rio Haina, Dominican Republic.
US Coast Guard officials reported multiple oil and fuel spills as well as possible sewage spills in the area of the port. They also reported multiple small fires along the shoreline and significant damage to or destruction of infrastructure at the port.