Clifford Bay ferry terminal project won’t proceedTransport
The outcome of a study into the commercial viability of a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay in Marlborough has concluded Picton should remain as the southern terminal for the inter-island ferries, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee announced today.
Over the past year a Ministry of Transport-led expert team has been testing whether Clifford Bay could be delivered as a fully privately funded project.
“We have been delivered a thorough and robust report which clearly shows Clifford Bay is not commercially viable as a fully privately funded project, and the level of investment required at Picton over the next decade to extend its life would be substantially less than previously estimated,” Mr Brownlee says.
The project team estimated a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay could be delivered by 2022, at a cost of $525 million. This left a gap the Government would have been required to fill to induce private sector investment in the construction and operation of the terminal.
Meanwhile, the investigation found Picton’s facilities are not expected to fail or become constrained due to asset age or condition, or growth in freight volumes, over the next 30 years. It also found the level of investment required at Picton by its owner Port Marlborough over the next decade to extend its life and adapt its facilities is approximately half the cost estimated in 2012.
Mr Brownlee says it was concluded a number of significant financial risks would exist in the development and early operating phase of a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay.
“While it was expected these would be manageable, mitigation and management cost would have fallen to the Government.
“In the end, the government cost, remaining risks, and the lack of a compelling constraint at Picton have led us to decide the Clifford Bay option should be set aside at this time,” Mr Brownlee says.
“I hope this announcement will provide some planning certainty for Marlborough communities.”
To read the report, Clifford Bay Investigation 2013, and the paper Mr Brownlee took to Cabinet, visit www.transport.govt.nz