Stolthaven New Zealand sends two tanks out to sea!

Stolthaven Terminals sparked the interest of onlookers and local media in New Zealand when it floated two 225-metric-tonne tanks down the coast of the North Island to its storage terminal at Mount Manganui

The empty tanks – measuring 25 metres in diameter and 16 metres in height – were hard to miss! Built by Culham Engineering in Whangarei, in the far north-east of the North Island, they completed their 290-nautical-mile, five-day sea voyage south earlier this month. Fortunately, for such hefty cargo, it was plain sailing despite a 48-hour stopover along the way due to the threat of bad weather.  

A tank preparing to set sail in Whangarei

"Obviously, we needed stable weather conditions for the barge journey and for the unloading as well, so we had to take precautions,” said Brent Metson, General Manager of Stolthaven Mount Maunganui. "That included conducting the land transportation and heavy lifting operations overnight because we had to close roads. 

“I’m pleased to say, it all went very smoothly, and the tanks are now safely on site. This new tankage will take up most of our remaining land and significantly increase our operating income.”

Stolthaven Terminals commissioned the new tanks, which each have a capacity of 8,100m3, to store very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) for one of its customers. 

The tanks were transported on land and positioned on site in the middle of the night.

VLSFO is compliant with IMO 2020, a regulation set by the International Maritime Organization to reduce sulphur oxides emissions by the maritime industry. The customer plans to use the VLSFO stored at the terminal to replace heavy fuel oil for ships at the nearby Port of Tauranga.

“The Mount Maunganui terminal is perfectly located to serve the port,” said Brent. “We are now doing the final preparations on the two tanks, including the insulation and tank pit walls, and they will soon be ready for our customer to use.”

Watch the video by photographer, Chris Parker. 

Main photo: Chris Parker,