India industries on high alert as Cyclone Tauktae lashes west coast

Author: Priya Jestin

2021/05/18

MUMBAI (ICIS)--India’s central and state governments are coordinating closely with industries to ensure minimal damage from Cyclone Tauktae currently traversing the west coast of the country, hitting Goa and Maharashtra, and is currently weaving its way through Gujarat.

The government wanted to ensure industries, particularly those producing pharmaceutical, medical oxygen and other critical medical products, are protected and provided with all help to minimise the impact of the cyclone, the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India said.

The cyclone is compounding India's battle against the deadly second COVID-19 wave.

Cyclone Tauktae made landfall over the Gujarat coast on Monday night and has lost some of its intensity, with further weakening expected as it enters Rajashtan.

Restoring power supply would be a major focus once the cyclone has abated, according to industry & railway minister Piyush Goyal.

In Gujarat, operations at 21 ports of the western state, including Kandla and Mundra, have remained suspended.

Most of the port area has been evacuated, leaving only very essential staff and security personnel on ground, as per statements from the port authorities.

“We have initiated actions in line with our disaster management plan and SOPs [standard operating procedures] at Dighi, Hazira, Dahej, Mundra and Tuna terminals,” said Adani Group, which owns the Mundra Port.

“Government ministries including shipping, industry, power and others, both at the state and central levels are at alert and are coordinating with the industry organisations to ensure that the cyclone damage can be kept to a minimum," said a source from India’s Ministry of Commerce.

Representatives from various industry bodies including Assocham, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) have shared safety guidelines with their members to counter any eventualities and were preparing to tackle the challenge collaboratively with the governments in their respective states.

In Goa, Zuari Agro Chemicals expects delay in the restart of its ammonia and urea plants Mormugao in the wake of Cyclone Tauktae

"The company is in the process of assessing the damages caused by the cyclone,” the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange on 17 May.

The company’s 470,000 tonnes/year urea plant and 270,000 tonnes/year ammonia line in Mormugao were shut for maintenance from 3 May.

Focus article by Priya Jestin

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