Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (CRP) has selected one of the worlds largest integrated dredging companies, Royal Boskalis Westminster (Boskalis) to undertake the detailed design of their rock phosphate nodule project at the Chatham Rise, subsequent to a complete review of scoping studies delivered by four of the world’s largest dredging companies ( Boskalis, IHC Merwede/D.E.M.E. and Jan de Nul), who carried out three independent extraction, upgrading and commercial delivery studies.
After CRP received these studies several months ago, they were reviewed by a panel of four independent marine dredging experts, who interacted with each study group to select the superior proposal. There was broad diversity of design and all propositions are considered technically feasible.
The Boskalis system was selected; their proposal is based on a recovery and separation system for the phosphate nodules designed around proven commercial technology. CRP is now in negotiation with Boskalis to undertake detailed design, production testing and be closely involved in associated environmental studies which CRP are now commencing. This overall phase is expected to take some 12-18 months.
The directors and management of CRP are gratified that this phase of the project attracted so much interest from the leading dredging industry companies and look forward to working with Boskalis to now complete the detailed design phase of the Project.
In selecting Boskalis, Dredging Development manager Sander Steenbrink responded that his company was delighted to be selected to work on the project. “This project is extremely interesting as it allows us to combine our engineering and R&D capabilities with our successful contracting track record in a challenging environment. We believe that this combination has resulted in a project approach which is technically viable. We are looking forward to working with the CRP team to develop a total extraction solution that is both cost effective and manages the environment, in accordance with our strict operating codes through-out the world.”
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime and terminal services sectors. The activities of Boskalis comprise Dredging & Earthmoving, Harbour Towage, Salvage, Transport & Heavy Lift, Terminal Services and Martime Civil Infrastructure.
Boskalis concentrates on the commodities such as oil and gas, ports, and land reclamation / coastal protection market segments. This spread gives the group a solid foundation and the flexibility to be able to take on a wide range of projects with excellent prospects for balanced growth. Demand for its services are driven by growing energy consumption, growth in global trade, growth in world population, and climate change.
The company’s main clients include oil companies, mining firms, port operators, governments, shipping companies and international project developers. Boskalis provides its clients with a broad range of services within the chain comprising design, project management, execution and continuous services.
Boskalis has around 14,000 employees and is active in over 65 countries across six continents. Its versatile fleet consists of over 1,100 vessels. Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is based in the Netherlands and its shares are included in the prime index (AEX) on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.
Chatham Rise Project Background
In 2010, a consortium comprising Widespread Energy and associated company Widespread Portfolios Limited, (“the Joint Venture or JV”) was granted an offshore prospecting permit by the Crown Resources division of the NZ Ministry of Economic Development covering an area of 4,726 km2 on the central Chatham Rise. The permit area, which is in New Zealand territorial waters, is located 450 km east of Christchurch and includes significant shallow seabed deposits of rock phosphate.. In March 2011 Widespread Energy acquired the 10% of the project then held by Widespread Portfolios and subsequently changed its name to Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited. The initial term of the permit is two years with rights to either extend the prospecting permit or apply for a mining licence.
Establishment of a rock phosphate industry in New Zealand territorial waters has a significant number of economic, environmental and market benefits.
The economic benefits include
- Import substitution of up to $300 million annually
- Possible exports to near markets
- Reduced commodity risk for fertiliser manufacturers and farmers
- Reduced foreign exchange risk for fertiliser manufacturers and farmers
- Development of a new NZ industry
- Generation of additional income for the local economy
- Security of supply (most rock phosphate is imported from North Africa and the Middle East)
The environmental benefits include
- Local product is significantly lower in cadmium and uranium than imported product
- Much lower carbon footprint than imported product
- If applied as a direct application fertilizer, CRP has less run off than super-phosphate, is applied less frequently, and is a more effective, slower acting product
- Extraction will occur in accordance with International Marine Mining environmental guidelines
The market benefits include
- Much cheaper source than Morocco
- Nominally 25+ years security of supply
- Known extraction costs could enable less volatile price contracts, which will benefit fertiliser companies, farmers and agriculture outputs generally
Environmental considerations are essential and CRP has an ongoing wide-ranging programme of consultation with fishing, conservation, Maori and other interest groups around these matters.
On behalf of the Board
Onekaka, 1 June 2011