The Walbran Report looked at coastal shipping options for Napier to Gisborne should the rail line cease to operate. Some detailed points:
- ATR funding in 2003/4 was $168,000 from NZTA plus $52,000 each from GDC and HBRC. This was a one off subsidy for operation of the line.
- Eastland Port, Port of Napier and Winstone Pulp International (former owner of the Prime mill at Matawhero) commissioned the report to investigate the possibility of coastal shipping in the region.
- Depending on volumes carried the cost per container of coastal shipping volume is extremely competitive with rail. Road-only charges are cheaper for 20 foot containers, but more expensive for 40 foot containers. Coastal shipping economies will not be experienced if the volumes are too low.
- Shipping transport has increased social benefits over rail transport alone, including overall reduction in emissions (lower CO2 but higher particulates). The risk of level crossing accidents being eliminated is also a part of that increase.
- The report refers to the transport by means other than road of woodchips by Winstone Pulp International from Prime Mill to Tangiwai and Kawerau. It states WPI have found that none of the alternatives were financially viable. This must be the woodchip traffic that has been referred to in previous posts. If it was not viable how is it being included in projections for traffic numbers through Gisborne.