Port Otago will soon seek resource consent for plans to deepen the channel of Otago harbour to accommodate larger container ships.
The Next Generation project, which could cost as much as $100 million, was announced more than two years ago.
Port Otago will seek permission from Otago Regional Council to deepen the harbour channel from about 13 metres to 15 metres.
Chief executive Geoff Plunket says the work would proceed only if major shipping lines confirm they want to bring the next generation of larger container ships to the port.
He says a resource consent application will be lodged in a couple of months, but it will be years before any work would start.