Cyclone suspends operations at India’s east coast ports

Ports on India’s east coast are suspending berth operations and moving ships out of anchorage as a cyclone approaches.

Cyclone Amphan is moving north-northeast across the Bay of Bengal area and is likely to make landfall as a very severe cyclonic storm in India’s West Bengal state and southern Bangladesh tomorrow, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. Maximum sustained wind speeds are expected to be 155-165 km/h, gusting to 180 km/h.

The Adani port group, which owns Dhamra port, has cancelled all inward movements of ships from 18 May. Ships berthed along the port began to move out to the open sea on 19 May. Dhamra, which is located between Haldia and Paradip ports, is a deepsea port that can accommodate Capesize vessels and handle thermal coal and coking coal cargoes.

Paradip port, which handles commodities including crude oil, iron ore and fertilizer, has also suspended all inward movements of ships. Vessels within the port have moved to safe anchorages at the outer port limit.

Vessels at LPG berths in Visakhaptnam (Vizag) port have moved to anchorage, while all cargo discharges at the general cargo berth have been suspended. Gangavaram port in Visakhapatnam has followed suit, and the reberthing schedule remains unclear. Gangavaram handles bulk and breakbulk cargoes including coal, iron ore and steel.

India’s biggest oil refiner state-controlled IOC’s 300,000 b/d Paradip refinery in Odisha and 150,000 b/d Haldia refinery in West Bengal are operating normally. The Haldia plant is prepared for the cyclone and expects no disruption to operations, an IOC official said.