Ferries and fuel keeping the islands connected
Fuel volumes were steady during FY20, apart from the impact during the height of New Zealand’s COVID-19 response at Alert Level 4.
Fuel pre-March was tracking strongly, but the Alert Level 4 lockdown had a sudden and significant impact on demand.
This impact lasted for a couple of months, with volumes slowly returning to normal at the end of April for land fuel, and subsequently during Alert Levels 2 and 1.
The aviation fuel business remains uncertain. CentrePort facilitates all the fuel supplies for Wellington International Airport, and demand is being directly affected by the COVID-19-related constraints on domestic and international air travel.
“CentrePort is a trusted partner in the petroleum supply chain network for Coastal Oil Logistics Limited (COLL). When the Government COVID-19 lockdown levels came into force, the continued movement of fuel was categorised as an essential service to support the New Zealand economy. COLL is proud of the work it did with CentrePort and other fuel logistics supply chain partners during the lockdown phases to safely maintain fuel supplies. Together as essential service providers, we continued to help keep New Zealand moving.”
– Jon Kelly, Chief Executive, Coastal Oil Logistics Ltd.
CentrePort has been working with the industry on a proposed upgrade of the Seaview Wharf fuel facility, which is a critical lifeline asset for the Wellington region.
“We’re making good progress with the industry and working in a proactive way on planning as part of the CentrePort regeneration,” says Andrew Steele, General Manager Ferries and Bulk.
Ferries and Bulk General Manager Andrew Steele says work has been ongoing at Seaview Wharf throughout the year.
“At Seaview Wharf we’re working collaboratively with our industry partners on the future of the asset, while undertaking upgrades of and improvements to what is a key strategic asset for the central New Zealand economy.”
Improvements during the year included the installation of modern fender systems, and new LED ‘smart technology’ lighting systems.
The ferry services between Wellington and Picton that CentrePort facilitates provide a vital link between the North and South Islands.
The ferry passageway is an extension of State Highway 1 between the islands; it moves almost $20bn worth of freight and more than a million passengers per annum.
The interisland ferries remained running as essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly for freight and moving essential workers.
Following the move down to Alert Level 2 in May, the ferries experienced a steady return of domestic passenger demand, less the usual international tourist volumes.
Across the Interislander and StraitNZ Bluebridge services, more than 3,000 ferry journeys are undertaken during the year.
Multi-User Ferry Terminal Project
CentrePort, as part of the Future Ports Working Group (also comprising Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail, StraitNZ Bluebridge, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council) continued to progress the concept.
A high-level business case was delivered on 16 August 2019. A robust process resulted in a shortlist of sites, and culminated in 2019 with a comprehensive, multi-criteria analysis in which Kaiwharawhara was selected as the most appropriate location, subject to further structural and resilience engineering feasibility studies.
KiwiRail subsequently expressed reservations about the Kaiwharawhara site. While Kaiwharawhara remained the preferred site of the Future Ports Working Group, a further analysis of options, considering factors such as resilience, marine safety, operational design, transition options and consenting strategy is continuing.