Gujarat petchem ops to continue despite cyclone warning

03 June 2010 08:23  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Petrochemical operations in India’s Gujarat state will continue as normal despite warnings from the meteorological department of strong winds and storms due to the impending Cyclone Phet, industry sources said on Thursday.

Coastal regions in western India and Pakistan have been put on high alert as Cyclone Phet is expected to hit the region within the next 24 hours, Pakistan’s meteorological department said in an statement.

However, petrochemical majors Reliance Industries and Tata Chemicals, which both have plants in Gujarat, would continue operations as normal, company sources said.

“So far, we are continuing normal operations at Jamnagar, [Gujarat]. We are on alert, but will wait for an official report from the meteorological department before initiating any kind of action,” said a source at Reliance Industries, which has refining and petrochemical operations in the state.

A source from Tata Chemicals said: “We have an emergency plan in place, which will be put into action if needed. As of now, we don’t think the cyclone will have much of an impact on our operations in Gujarat.

Tata Chemicals has soda ash and caustic soda plants at Mithapur in Gujarat.

Cyclone Phet had intensified into a very severe tropical cyclone, and was expected to have wind speeds of 64–119 knots (118.53–220.39km/h) near its centre, Pakistan’s meteorological department said.

The storm was expected to hit land areas between Karachi in Pakistan and Kutch in India; and a high alert has been sounded across all ports in the Indian state of Gujarat, according to a source from Kandla Port.

“Under the influence of this system, fairly wide spread rainfall with scattered-heavy to very-heavy falls accompanied by strong gusty winds are likely in the Sindh and Balochistan coastal areas during the next three to four days,” said the Pakistan met office.

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By: Priya Jestin

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