Ahead of the impending very severe cyclonic storm, Fani, the port at Gopalpur off the South Odisha coast, has suspended all operations.
After Paradip suspended operations earlier, Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group-promoted Gopalpur Ports Ltd has become the second port top do so. Paradip, next only to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Port (formerly Kandla) by cargo volumes, had on Tuesday evening announced a temporary halt in operations to ward off any impact from the tropical cyclonic storm to pound Puri's coast in the forenoon of May 3. All cargo loading and unloading operations stand suspended. The loss assessment is yet to be done by the Paradip Port Trust (PPT) authorities.
Now, Gopalpur port has followed suit. “Due to cyclone Fani, Gopalpur port operation will stand suspended till conditions improve. Port operations will resume after an assessment,” said Jagdish Chandra Rout, associate vice-president (corporate affairs & communication), Shapoorji Pallonji Port Maintenance Pvt Ltd, Gopalpur Port Ltd.
Industries with shore-based facilities are circumspect and are taking measures instead of suspending operations. “We are in touch with the district administration and have taken all precautionary measures to protect plant and equipment and human lives from the likely impact of the cyclone, as advised by the administration. Further, we are rendering required assistance to the local administration in their effort to face this challenge”, said an Essar Steel spokesperson.
Essar Steel operates a six-million-tonne-per-annum (mtpa) pellet complex at Paradip linked to its 12-mtpa beneficiation plant at Dabuna, near Keonjhar, by a slurry pipeline.
A spokesperson for Indian Oil Corporation, meanwhile, confirmed that operations at the company’s 15-mtpa crude oil refinery at Paradip, as well as oil depots and petrol pumps across the state, were normal.