Port of Tauranga

From Global Energy Monitor

Port of Tauranga is in the Tauranga metropolitan area in New Zealand. It is operated by Port of Tauranga Limited and handles coal imports for Genesis Energy's Huntly Power Station, among other goods.

It includes the Sulphur Point Wharf on the Tauranga side and the Mount Maunganui Wharf on the Mount Maunganui side.[1]


The Port of Tauranga is situated in the Tauranga metropolitan area in New Zealand. Mount Maunganui is a suburb located on a peninsula to the north-east of Tauranga’s city center.

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The Port of Tauranga is the largest port in the country in terms of total cargo volume with a throughput of over 13 million tons a year. It is operated by Port of Tauranga Ltd. The port was officially established in 1873 by order of the Governor of New Zealand. The container terminal was opened in 1998.[2]

Genesis Energy coal imports

2003 Agreement

In 2003, Genesis Energy was negotiating to import one million tonnes of coal from the port every year starting in 2004 (500,000 tonnes from Indonesia and 500,000 tonnes from northern Queensland, Australia).[3]

That year, Port of Tauranga and Genesis Energy finalized an agreement to import up to one million tonnes of coal a year for the Huntly Power Station. A total of $24 million was expected to be invested in new facilities.[4]

In 2004, Toll Owens Ltd, a joint venture between the Port of Tauranga and Toll Holdings, was awarded an integrated logistics contract to handle approximately one million tonnes of coal shipped into Tauranga for railing across to the Huntly Power Station.[5]

A $30-million coal transit and storage facility was built to receive and store up to two shipments (70,000 tonnes) at the port’s Mount Maunganui Wharf.[6][7]

By 2005, Port Chairman John Parker said the port's contract to handle the new coal supply for Genesis Energy's Huntly Power Station had been a major boost to the port. Coal tonnage through the port increased from 663,000 tonnes to 879,000 tonnes that year.[8]

Genesis Energy has extensive coal stockpiling infrastructure onsite and close to the 5 km coal conveyor loading point at the old Huntly West coal mine site, as well as the covered storage facility at the Port of Tauranga where imported coal from Indonesia is held before being transported to Huntly to supplement local supply.[9]

When running entirely on coal, the station use over 3 million tonnes a year, with part of it imported through the port.[10]

2014 Contract termination

In January 2014, Genesis Energy announced that it had ended a contract to import coal from its offshore supplier. Lease of facilities at the Port of Tauranga where the offshore coal was delivered and contracts for the transportation of coal to the Huntly West mine were subsequently reviewed. Consequently, Genesis Energy reported a non-recurring expense of $19.1m in H1 2014 covering the termination fee for exiting the offshore coal contract and a provision for onerous contracts. Given the characteristics of these expenses, they were considered to be “oneoff” in nature. A further significant charge of $2.4 million before tax was incurred relating to costs associated with preparing the Company for this Offer.[11][12] The commitments for coal supply from Indonesia were controversial both because of the high carbon emissions profile of coal compared to other electricity fuel sources and because of the proximity of Solid Energy's Huntly East mine to the ageing coal and gas-fired Huntly power station.[13]

Continued imports in times of need

Coal appears to be imported through the port in times of need. For example, in 2017, Genesis Energy said it had to import some coal from Indonesia, having cancelled a 2016 contract to buy coal from Solid Energy until 2021. It pre-emptively imported the coal to ensure it had sufficient supplies for a dry winter.[14][15]

In 2018, Genesis Energy was again looking at importing coal as it grappled with a tight wholesale electricity market and a shortage of gas.[16]

In 2020, New Zealand imported approximately one million tonnes of coal, with approximately 800,000 tonnes used to generate electricity. As of 2021, approximately two thirds of the coal imported in New Zealand was reportedly used by the Huntly Power Station.[17]


In 2003, Greenpeace activists boarded the vessel Atermon as it berthed in the Port of Tauranga, preventing 30,000 tonnes of coal from being unloaded. Activists noted: “Over the next eight years, Genesis plans to increase the amount of coal it burns at Huntly by about 19 million tonnes. This will release an additional 45.6 million tonnes of climate changing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”[3]

Project Details

  • Operator: Port of Tauranga Limited
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Coal Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): 1
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Imports
  • Source of Coal: Indonesia, Australia

Articles and Resources


  1. "Port Map," Port of Tauranga, accessed October 2021
  2. “Port of Tauranga,” Ship Technology, accessed October 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 “Greenpeace halts Huntly coal import from unloading,” Greenpeace New Zealand, August 22, 2003
  4. “Coal import deal finalized,” NZ Herald, August 28, 2003
  5. "Major Genesis Energy Contract Goes To New Company," Press Release, December 13, 2004
  6. “Port Operational Information” (PDF), Port of Tauranga, July 2015
  7. “Welcome to Port of Tauranga,” Port of Tauranga, accessed October 2021
  8. “Port of Tauranga Container Gains and a Lift in Imports Delivers Steady Year,” Infratil News, August 24, 2005
  9. “2020 Thermal Generation Stack Update Report,” WSP, prepared for The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, October 29, 2020
  10. "Coal no longer king at Huntly Power Station," August 5, 2015
  11. "The Genesis Energy Share Offer: Initial Public Offering of Ordinary Shares on Genesis Energy Limited," New Zealand Government, prospectus dated March 13, 2014
  12. "Genesis Energy ends imported coal contract," Genesis Energy, January 24, 2014
  13. "Genesis Energy axes Indonesian coal imports as Huntly use falls," NBR, January 24, 2014
  14. "Coal makes minor comeback as hydro power dries up," RNZ, June 20, 2017
  15. "Genesis in talks with BT Mining on Huntly supply," Bathurst Resources Limited, accessed October 2021
  16. "Genesis Energy's move to import coal," NZ Herald, October 14, 2018
  17. “NZ importing record amount of coal,” Otago Daily Times, July 26, 2021

Related GEM.wiki Resources