Port Nelson: Progress amid challenges

Wednesday 14 Oct 2020

Port Nelson Continues To Progress Amid A Challenging Year - Port Nelson has released its 2020 Annual Report which shows the Port’s increasing strength and sustainability in the 2020 financial year amid a series of challenges. The most significant of these was the impact of COVID-19 on cargo volumes, operating costs, and the main wharf re-development project.

Apples, kiwifruit and wine cargoes were strong, reflecting what was a bumper harvest in Tasman. Logs made up approximately 30% of the volume, well down on the record high of the previous year due in part to the dramatic increase in the export of logs from central Europe as a result of a beetle infestation, as well as the close down of the forestry industry during the COVID- 19 lockdown.

The Port’s total cargo for the 2020 financial year was 3.3 million revenue tonnes (RTs), down 12% on budget and down 15% on the 2019 financial year. Container volumes were 116,162 twenty foot equivalent units, down 5% on budget and 3% on last year. CEO Hugh Morrison said, “We saw an outstanding response by exporters in Te Tauihu, who did a courageous job adjusting to the challenges of COVID-19 and kept exports flowing”.

The Port continues its commitment to be zero carbon by 2050, this target has been embedded in the Port’s revised Environment Policy. Other environmental initiatives include: the ongoing electrification of the Port’s small vehicle fleet, retained ISO 14001 certification for the Port’s environmental management system, purchased a new crane to improve efficiencies as well as improved results in noise reduction, and recycling of packing used in the transportation of wine.

Adapting to COVID-19 has dominated much of the Port’s year from a people and safety perspective. “As essential workers the Port was aware of the privilege of having steady work, while also carrying the risks of working at a Port receiving first call international vessels” says Hugh. The Port implemented and continues to have strict work practices in place to ensure the safety of the Port’s people and the Te Tauihu (Top of the South Island) community from exposure to COVID-19.

The Port continues its work on the resilience of the Port with its capital works programme addressing both natural disasters as well as economic resilience. These works include the re- development of Main Wharf North which is progressing well and is due for completion early 2021, a new tug, a replacement crane, and proposed dredging to help enable the safe passage of ships into the harbour.

After 20 years of service, Phil Lough stepped down as Board Chair. He is succeeded by Geoff Dangerfield. New board directors include Jon Safey and Paul Zealand.

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Report highlights:
Revenue of $66.7 million
Operating profit of $20.9 million
Overall net profit after taxation of $8.2 million
Shareholder Equity as % of total assets is 70.2%
Total cargo volumes of 3.3 million tonnes
Container volumes of 116,162 TEU
Full declared dividend of $4 million

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