The New Zealand government has committed $30 million of funding for coastal shipping through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) to improve domestic shipping services, reduce emissions, improve efficiency and upgrade maritime infrastructure.

On 24 May, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced that the preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services were selected, bringing the country a step closer to a more resilient, competitive and sustainable coastal shipping sector.

Wood said that this sector is a small but important part of New Zealand’s freight system and that investing in coastal shipping as a lower emissions transport mode will also help the country achieve decarbonisation goals.

The four preferred suppliers selected through the NLTP are Coastal Bulk Shipping, Move International, Swire Shipping NZ and Aotearoa Shipping Alliance.

As informed, each of the selected four selected suppliers will bring at least one additional coastal shipping vessel into service to improve the resilience of the overall freight supply chain.

Moreover, they will invest over $60 million through their proposals, resulting in a combined investment in the sector of over $90 million.

Once fully operational, the new services are also expected to support the government’s commitment n to reduce emissions from freight transport by 35% by 2035 as stated in the recently released Emissions Reduction Plan, Wood added.

At the end of 2021, the Southern Hemisphere’s first fully electric, zero-emission passenger ferry was launched in New Zealand.

As estimated, the 19-metre long Ika Rere will save approximately 640 tons of CO2 annually compared to a similar-sized diesel alternative.

Recently, the ferry completed its inaugural round trip with a Thordon seawater lubricated propeller shaft arrangement supplied by New Zealand’s Henley Engineering.

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