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Ice closes port of Hampton Roads

04 Jan 2018 18:52 GMT
Ice closes port of Hampton Roads

New York, 4 January (Argus) — The port of Hampton Roads, a key coal export location on the US Atlantic coast, remained closed today after the US Coast Guard halted vessel traffic late yesterday after reports of ice in the waterways.

Other major ports, including Baltimore and New York Harbor, remain open to accommodate elevated fuel deliveries amid severe weather conditions, the Coast Guard confirmed today.

The cold snap in the US northeast has firmed demand for heating oil, spurring increased movements of the fuel into the coast on Jones Act ships as well as rare shipments originating in Europe.

The Coast Guard dispatched an ice-breaker vessel that is homeported in Baltimore about 70mi south toward Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay to break up ice in the area.

Farther north, multiple ice-breakers are currently conducting operations on the Hudson River to ease ship movement between Albany and New York City. Ships along the Hudson are traveling in convoys to avoid becoming stuck.

Strong winds and heavy snowfall may further impede shipping operations on the US Atlantic coast, warned the Coast Guard.

But so far oil tanker operations have not been significantly affected by the severe weather conditions, according to shipbrokers.