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FROM OUR CORRESPONDENTAUSTRALASIA


Changing priorities bring new wind and rail opportunities


The New Zealand government’s policy of rejuvenating railways, plus the country’s burgeoning wind farm development programme, looks like it will provide project forwarders with plenty of opportunities for cargo and equipment moves in the next couple of years.


tunnel and signalling infrastructure and a subsequent drop in service standards. Even renationalisation of rail in 2008 failed


N


to revive it, as the-then Labour government was unseated and the incoming National Party was reluctant to give rail financial backing for more than two years at a time. But that situation has changed since the


coalition government came into power in 2017. The boost that rail needed came in the May 2019 budget, which allocated NZD1 billion (USD660 million) of funding to support the redevelopment of KiwiRail. This includes NZD375 million (USD247.8million) for new wagons and locomotives plus NZD331 million (USD218.7 million) to invest in track and other supporting infrastructure. From the perspective of project


forwarders and heavy lift shipping specialists, the earliest opportunities are likely to arise in the northernmost part of the country where the government, through the Provincial Growth Fund, has announced a NZD94.8 million (USD65 million) investment to maintain and improve the North Auckland Line between Swanson and Whangarei, which will have significant benefits for Northland’s economy. Quick investment is imperative because without support, this line would deteriorate


124 January/February 2020


ew Zealand’s railway network was neglected after it was privatised during the 1990s, with years of under-investment leading to a decline of the track,


Blades are lifted


into place at the Te Apiti wind farm in New Zealand.


Dave MacIntyre, our regional correspondent in


AUSTRALASIA


and close within five years, leaving Northland cut off from rail services. Some 54 km of the 181 km-long track will


be rebuilt or upgraded. Tens of thousands of sleepers will be replaced and huge volumes of ballast will be added. Ageing bridges will also be repaired or replaced. KiwiRail has surveyed the rail corridor,


The boost that rail needed came in the May 2019 budget, which allocated NZD1 billion (USD660 million) of funding to support redevelopment of KiwiRail.


with teams gathering detailed ground and asset information, and is beginning to hire consultants and contractors. It recently held an industry briefing for Northland contracting and construction companies about future work opportunities, and while the intention is to support local companies, there will undoubtedly be potential for forwarders who have a working relationship with those contractors.


Wind in the sails Looking ahead, the project logistics industry will be able to target significant wind farm investment programmes in New Zealand. Grenville Gaskell, NZ Wind Energy


Association chief executive, said New Zealand will a huge uptick in wind turbine


www.heavyliftpfi.com


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