HOT Port News from GAC

Ports & Terminals, Weather — By on March 19, 2013 at 11:49 PM

GAClogo_cmykYour daily news service from ports around the world.

In this HOT PORT NEWS, read about:
* United Kingdom, Mersey – Essential lock maintenance works planned
* Australia, Newcastle – Reduced channel depth
* Australia, all ports – Bad weather affecting Queensland coal ports
* Mexico, Coatzacoalcos – Closure of terminals for tunnel works

DATE: March 19, 2013
COUNTRY: United Kingdom
PORT: Mersey
Essential lock maintenance works planned

The QEII Eastham Lock will be closed to all shipping from 0800 on 27 June for essential maintenance to the inner caisson rail and installing the refurbished inner caisson.

The works will be conducted 24 hours daily, and are expected to be completed by 1600 on 18 July 2013.

For information about operations in the UK contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com

DATE: March 19, 2013
COUNTRY: Australia
PORT: Newcastle
Reduced channel depth

Siltation from recent flooding has reduced the depth of the main channel at Newcastle Port by up to 90 cm.

Newcastle Port Authority advises that the main channel depth is revised to 14.3 metres. The normal channel depth at zero tide is 15.2m. Cape Sized ships are expected to be restricted in their ability to load a full cargo until the area is restored to its design depth.

Intensive and targeted dredging and sweeping is underway to restore the depth in the Horseshoe. The area will be surveyed regularly and the channel depth will be revised in increments until it has been returned to its design depth.

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

DATE: March 19, 2013
COUNTRY: Australia
PORT: all ports
Bad weather affecting Queensland coal ports

Ex Tropical Cyclone TIM is having a major effect on the Queensland coast, including disruption at coal ports.

ABBOT POINT
Current gale warnings have resulted in the cancellation of the scheduled berthing of vessels at Abbot Point. The port has not been officially closed by the Regional Harbour Master, but the situation is being closely monitored.
There is currently no vessel loading at Abbot Point, with two vessels at anchor and the next currently scheduled to berth at around 18:00hrs this afternoon (19 March). However, this will depend on the prevailing weather conditions.

HAY POINT COAL TERMINAL
All movements remain suspended. If weather conditions improve they will attempt to re-commence berthing movements tomorrow morning (20 March).

DALRYMPLE BAY COAL TERMINAL
All movements remain suspended. If weather conditions improve they will attempt to re-commence berthing movements tomorrow morning.
The Harbour Master has not officially closed the port at this stage, as the terminals have made their own decisions to close the berths due to upcoming adverse weather conditions.
However, all vessels at anchor have been informed to heavy ballast down and some vessels have decided to shift to other anchorage positions due to dragging of anchors.

LATEST WEATHER FORECAST (issued at 2:44 am Tuesday, 19 March 2013):
At 10pm EST Monday, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Tim was located approximately 350 km northeast of Mackay and moving slowly westwards. A high over southeast Australia is extending a strong ridge along the southern and central coasts of Queensland. The combination of these two systems is leading to strong to gale force southeasterly winds about the exposed coast and islands between Bowen and Yeppoon.

Damaging winds with peak gusts of around 90 km/h are expected to develop during Tuesday afternoon and evening. These conditions are expected to gradually ease during Wednesday morning.

Locations which may be affected include Mackay, Proserpine, Bowen, Yeppoon, Hamilton Island, Middle Percy Island and Sarina.

Gusts to 81 km/hr were observed at Middle Percy Island during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Gusts to 79 km/hr were observed at Hamilton Island during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

COASTAL WATERS WIND WARNING
For Cardwell to Double Island Point, including Hervey Bay.
Issued at 4:30 am EST on Tuesday 19 March 2013

At 4am EST Tuesday, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Tim [1002 hPa] was located about 180 nautical miles northeast of Mackay and moving slowly west-northwest at 3 knots. Ex-Tropical Cyclone Tim is expected to move in a west-northwest direction towards the tropical Queensland coast over the next few days.
Meanwhile a high [1027 hPa] over southeast Australia extends a firm ridge along the southern and central east coast of Queensland.

Gale Warnings
Townsville to Bowen S to SE winds 25 to 30 knots over offshore waters, increasing to 35 to 40 knots during Tuesday afternoon and evening with squalls to 50 knots. Seas to 3 metres, increasing to 4 metres in open waters. A 1.5 to 2 metres SE
swell in open waters.

Bowen to Yeppoon
S to SE winds 35 to 40 knots with squalls to 50 knots. Seas to 3 to 4 metres in open waters. A 1.5 to 2 metre SE swell in open waters.

Strong Wind Warnings

Cardwell to Townsville S to SE winds 25 to 30 knots over offshore waters. Seas to 3 metres outside the reef. A 1.5 metre SE swell outside the reef.

Yeppoon to Double Island Point, including Hervey Bay
S to SE winds 25 to 33 knots. Seas to 3 to 3.5 metres in open waters. A 2 metres S to SE swell in open waters.

Wind gusts can be a further 40% stronger than the averages given, and maximum waves may be up to twice the height.

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

DATE: March 19, 2013
COUNTRY: Mexico
PORT: Coatzacoalcos
Closure of terminals for tunnel works

The second stage of work to install a tunnel under the Coatzacoalcos River to connect the city to the suburb Allende will be carried out from 00:01 on 21 March until 24:00 on 24 March.

The work is expected to interfere with the navigation of vessels entering and/or sailing either Pajaritos terminals (Agronitrogenados, Innophos and Pemex) and to the Commercial Port terminals located on the left bank of the river (Celanese, Cemex, Vopak, Bredero Shaw, Pemex Gas, Multiver, Transferencias Graneleras del Istmo, Terminal Marítima de Altamira (PMI-et coke), Edf Man, etc), as follows:

* No traffic will be allowed during 4 days at both Pajaritos Terminal & Commercial Port Terminals.

* Once the port is reopened, the port will be reopened 24 hours during the first day only.

* The following 8 days, port traffic will be restricted on daylight only (no night traffic allowed).

* Vessels’ speed will be restricted to 6 knots while passing through the area.

The third stage of the works is tentatively scheduled for 2-5 April, subject to confirmation.

For information about operations in Mexico contact GAC-Tomas Ruiz at ac-tomasruiz.mexico@gac.com

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