Monday, February 28, 2011

Weather Closes Oil And Container Port As Wind Farm Proposals Considered

Alaska Oil Exports Cease in High Winds
Shipping News Feature

US – The irony is lost on observers that on the day the Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) convene to endorse plans for Alaska’s biggest wind farm, hurricane strength winds have caused the closure of the Port of Valdez, 200 kilometres East of Anchorage.

Oil pipelines remained unaffected but the winds, peaking at around 100 miles per hour caused shipping services at the port to cease and tankers were forced to sit out the storm, impossible to load in the conditions. Valdez is the Southern terminus for the trans Alaska pipeline and has its own container and grain terminals.

Roofs have been torn up and windows smashed by flying debris as Alaska’s main oil port effectively closed on Saturday with piped product due for export being diverted to storage tanks. The weather extended into the mountains with local press reporting deep snowdrifts and wipers ripped from cars in the Chugach mountain range.

At the time of writing it is not known when the port will reopen.