At least 50 people are now thought to have been killed and 700 killed in the Tianjin port explosions.
Nine firefighters died trying to contain the fire and 18 more are unaccounted for, according to the People’s Daily newspaper.
IHS Country Risk analyst David Yang pointed out that although some port operations have resumed, there was likely to be disruption affecting the Beijiang port area, given its central location.
In particular two container terminals in the Beijiang area are confirmed to be shut down. These are the Wuzhou (Five Continents) International Container Terminal at the eastern-most end of the Beijiang port area, with 4 berths in the 120,000-tonne class. The other is the Euroasia International Container Terminal, with 3 berths. Wuzhou (Five Continents) is a Chinese state-owned container terminal.
“Beijiang has been moving away from ore and other bulk freight recently and is currently primarily a container port. Nonetheless it still handles some ore, and according to media reports there are around 1.4 million tonnes of ore stored in the Beijiang area. These have not suffered direct damage but will be inaccessible for the time being,” Yang told IHS Maritime.
However, a spokesmen for APMT said earlier this morning that there had been no disruptions at their joint venture terminals in Tianjin port. It said the terminal was 5km away and was unaffected.
Pictures and videos on social media showed three blasts at around 11:30 h local time on 12 August. The shockwaves were felt kilometres away and shattered glass windows of buildings, local media reported.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that the explosions have been confirmed to have taken place at Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai International Logistics’ warehouse storing “dangerous and chemical goods” at the Dongjiang Bonded Area of Tianjin port.
Reuters, citing the Tianjin Maritime Safety Authority, reported that during an inspection two years ago, out of 4,325 Tianjin Dongjiang Port Rui Hai containers, five were found to have substandard packaging. This could form part of the ingoing investigation.
According to IHS port data, Tianjin, China’s largest man made port, acts as the capital’s sea port and is one of a few ports in China to handle fourth generation container vessels. Tianjin consists of 4 main areas, North Port handling containers and general cargo, East Port handling containers, South Port mainly liquid and dry bulk cargoes and Haihe Port of Tanggu used by coastal vessels.
The port operates 140 berths and 94 public berths, able to accommodate vessels of 50,000-300,000DWT. Imports: General cargo, steel, grain, iron ore, fertilisers, containers and petroleum products. Exports: Coal, coke, ore, pig iron, maize, minerals and agri products.