Contractor selected to undertake the $13.5m first phase of Te Pūwaha

Contractor selected to undertake first phase of Port rebuild

The Whanganui Port Limited Partnership is pleased to announce that after a competitive procurement process, that Concrete Structures Ltd has today been awarded and signed the construction contract to complete the Te Pūwaha Stage One Port civil construction Works.

Whanganui Port Limited Partnership chair Mark Petersen said today that “Concrete Structures Ltd stood out to us for their expertise in the types of marine structures we are building, their willingness to work in a Te Awa Tupua way, and their initiative to put forward alternative design solutions to assist the project’s timeline and budget”.

“The port rebuild is a high-profile project, with challenging technical construction elements, and a strong focus on broader community outcomes, so we are pleased to sign this first contract,” he says.

“The process to appoint a contractor to complete phase one has been rigorous and we thank the other high-calibre tenderers who participated. For some, this was a collaborative approach to a local project and while they have missed out on this stage of works, hopefully the effort they have put in will put them in a good place for the next phase.”

Whanganui Port Operating Company chair Declan Millin believes “the revitalisation of the Port within the Te Pūwaha Project is key in the Region’s plans to redevelop the town’s maritime infrastructure to encourage local vessel construction and enhance New Zealand’s coastal shipping network”.

“Not only that, a revitalised port will build a platform for unlocking further investment, stimulate ongoing local economic development in Whanganui, draw in new businesses, and ensure the retention and attraction of high value jobs for our community.”

Te Pūwaha project chairperson, Kahureremoa Aki, recognises the largely unseen collaborative effort made by those working on the procurement process over the past few months.

“It is important to acknowledge the amount of work that has gone into this process behind the scenes in order to get to this point,” she says.

“Project partners, as led by Te Mata Pūau, have worked tirelessly to ensure the awa is front of mind in order to achieve this major milestone, one which will bring a huge sense of pride to our community.”

Whanganui Port Project Manager, Phil Wardale, confirmed that Concrete Structures will be carrying out the entirety of the stage one works. This includes the construction of a heavy pavement vessel hardstand and concrete structures out over the water capable of carrying Q-West Boat Builder’s 380 tonne capacity mobile boat hoist, which when fully laden will weigh over 550 tonnes.

The first stage also includes construction of a specialist water treatment plant to service the vessel maintenance heavy pavement, along with demolition and ground preparation works.

Funding for this work is split evenly between the Provincial Growth Fund as managed by Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, and the Whanganui District Council’s investment into the Limited Partnership which will own the redevelopment assets.

Phil Wardale confirms that procurement for the next phases of the works will get underway later this year and into 2024. This will focus on the selection of designs and a contractor to rebuild the adjoining two Port wharves, and the sourcing of dredging equipment for the Port.

Mark Peterson acknowledges the funding partners’ commitment to the completion of this project.

He says the Port will continue to be mindful of any economic cost inflation pressures with ensuing project phases, and the project will investigate appropriate funding sources if needed.

“However, this first phase gets the ball rolling with the project, allowing a new business operation at the port to generate economic growth in of itself, once completed – which will show real benefit to our community,” he says.

Phil Wardale confirmed that Concrete Structures will start to mobilise to the Port site during the month and that further announcements are expected later in the month prior to the contractor breaking ground and getting underway with the works.