Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), India’s biggest private port operating firm, has declared force majeure at its facilities in Mundra, Tuna and Dhamra in the wake of a three-week lockdown imposed by the government to check the spread of Corona Virus.

“In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Port hereby notifies the "Force Majeure Event", wherein port will not be responsible for any claims, damages, charges, etc whatsoever arising out of and /or connected to the above Force Majeure event, either directly or indirectly, which without any limitation would include vessel demurrages, inter alia due to pre-berthing or any other delays of whatsoever nature and accordingly the discharge rate guaranteed under the agreement shall also not be applicable for all vessels to be handled at port for any delay or disturbance in the port services during the Force Majeure period,” APSEZ said in a 24 March notice to the trade, adding that the event was effective from 22 March.

A force majeure clause absolves firms from meeting their contractual commitments for reasons beyond their control.

APSEZ notified force majeure separately for the three ports.

“Since the impact is ongoing, the port shall notify of the "Cessation of Force Majeure" based on further notifications / directives from the Central Government and State Government as the case may be,” it stated.

“At this juncture, we would also like to inform that Port Services are categorized as Essential Services and therefore, in the interest to protect and secure the supply chain of the industries, we are whole-heartedly endeavouring to continue the port operations with the kind support of Government Authorities,” it added.