KiwiRail statement - Arahura

01 December 2014 11:11AM

We understand and acknowledge the considerable speculation about  a possible replacement for the Arahura. 

While we can confirm we are in engaged in discussions with potential counter parties, no final decision has been made and no contract signed or agreed.   

If discussions proceed successfully  we  could  be in a position to make an announcement  shortly, but are unable to confirm any more details at present.  

It is important to note a wide range of options have been considered as part of this process, including the retention of the Arahura, and the lease or purchase of alternative vessels, including the Stena Alegra. 

We can assure our customers - freight and passenger - that any alternative vessel would be fit for purpose and would comply with all  Maritime and Class survey requirements (imposed by external agencies) to ensure appropriate safety, quality and capability standards are met. 

With regard to specific claims by Mr Peters’ regarding the Stena Alegra while the vessel was under charter with us, the vessel made 449 trips across the Strait carrying 45,500 passengers, 34,300 vehicles and 11,900 trucks,  In her short time here. 

On time performance  for the vessel was above 80%. All ships are subject to a continual maintenance cycle to inspect, overhaul and maintain the hull and equipment installed in them. Consumption of lubricant on  the vessel was within specifications and no higher than for other vessels. 

While the vessel was in service with us road bridging  -which sees containers lifted off rail wagons onto  road trailers - was used to accommodate rail freight, as the vessel dos not have a rail deck.  This has been done  successfully for a number of years on Kaitaki  - ie when the Aratere was being lengthened. 

Once a decision is finalised and negotiations concluded, we will certainly be making a public announcement and will ensure all relevant information is made available to interested parties.