26 July 2018

Platform publishes South Asia Quarterly Update #16

Brussels, 25 July 2018 - There were a total of 220 ships broken in the second quarter of 2018. Of these, 169 ships were sold to the beaches of South Asia for dirty and dangerous breaking [1]. Between April and June, 6 workers have lost their lives and 7 workers have been severely injured when breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Another worker was reported dead after an accident at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India. So far this year, Platform sources have recorded 18 deaths and 9 injuries in South Asia.

As reported in our previous update, worker Shahidul Islam died at Zuma Enterprise in April while breaking the Greek tanker EKTA, owned by Anangel Group. Belal Hossain, Md Musa and Md Najmuddin Alazy were all mortally struck by falling iron pieces during the cutting operations at Asadi Steel, KR Steel and S Trading yards respectively. On 22 May, three workers got severely injured at SN Corporation, where two other workers were killed last year. Farid Ahmed, a cutter man from the Gaibanda region, was hit by an iron piece and killed at Janata Steel on 31 May. One month later, 22 years old Nayon, an employee of Kabir Steel’s Khawja shipbreaking yard, lost his life. Local sources claim that the death of Nayon has been treated as a road accident by the yard management, although there are no police records of such a type of accident having taken place. In 2018, there have already been three deaths linked to Kabir Steel.

According to local sources, three yards in which fatalities occurred this quarter - Kabir Steel, SN Corporation and Janata Steel - are clients of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), although the bank neither confirmed nor denied this when asked. SN Corporation and Kabir Steel are recurring names on the list of companies involved in the death of shipbreaking workers. Janata Steel is the company that bought the infamous FPSO North Sea Producer for which the Bangladesh Supreme Court is expected to pronounce itself shortly with regards to its illegal import. A responsible financer is expected to divest from companies that have an extremely bad track record and continue to ignore basic health and safety precautions for the purpose of cutting costs.

In India, one accident in Alang, which cost the life of a worker, was reported: on 13 April, Ravindra Chaudhari, who was working in Plot 2, was hit by a falling steel plate and died. Plot 2, which has applied to be on the EU List of approved ship recycling facilities, and was one of the first yards in Alang to receive a so-called Statement of Compliance with the Hong Kong Convention by ClassNK, is the main yard of Leela Ship Recycling Pvt. Ltd. Apart from this incident, little is known about accident records in Alang as no information is made publically available by the authorities, and access to the yards by civil society organisations and journalists is not allowed.

In the second quarter of 2018, American ship owners sold the most ships to the South Asian yards with 26 vessels beached, followed by Greek and UAE owners. American company Tidewater was the worst corporate dumper with fifteen vessels beached. In the end of April, Pakistan re-opened the market to the import of tankers. In two months alone, twenty-two tankers reached the shores of Gadani to be scrapped. Industry sources report that devaluing freight rates have contributed to the demolition of over 100 tankers in the first half of 2018.

Only three ships had a European flag – Greece, Malta and Norway – when they were beached last quarter. All ships sold to the Chittagong, Alang and Gadani yards pass via the hands of scrap-dealers, also known as cash-buyers, that often re-register and re-flag the vessel on its final voyage. Grey- and black-listed flags of convenience are particularly popular with cash-buyers, and more than half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach. This is the highest number of flag changes recorded by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and raises serious concerns with regards to the effectiveness of legislation based on flag state jurisdiction. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer ‘last voyage registration’ discounts. They are grey- and black-listed due to their poor implementation of international maritime law.

[1] During the second quarter of 2018, the following number of vessels were broken in other locations: 33 in Turkey, 5 in China, 4 in Europe and 9 in the rest of the world.

NGO Shipbreaking Platform
Tel.: +32 (0) 26094419

24 July 2018

The European Commission has updated the European List of ship recycling facilities

On 7 May 2018, the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/684of 4 May 2018 amending Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2323 to update the European List of ship recycling facilities pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013has been published on the Official Journal of the European Union.

The European List of ship recycling facilities was established by the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2323pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013on ship recycling. The purpose of the Regulation is to prevent, reduce, minimise and, to the extent practicable, eliminate accidents, injuries and other adverse effects on human health and the environment caused by ship recycling, ensuring that hazardous waste from ship recycling is subject to environmentally sound management. Ship recycling facilities may be located both in a Member State of the European Union and in a third country.

Several Member States have communicated to the Commission lists of facilities they have authorised in accordance with Article 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 to be included in the European List of ship recycling facilities. Member States have also communicated to the Commission updated data pertaining to facilities already included in that list. Therefore, the Commission has decided to amend Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2323.

With regard to ship recycling facilities located in a third country for which an application for inclusion in the European List has been submitted to the Commission in accordance with Article 15 of Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013, the assessment of the relevant information and supporting evidence provided or gathered is still ongoing. The Commission will adopt implementing acts pertaining to those ship recycling facilities located outside the Union once the assessment is finalised.

Ship recycling facilities located in a Member State of the Union

Source: lexology. 21 May 2018

Managing HSE at Alang Ship Recycling Yards


Fundamentally, the ship recycling activity is environmentally conscious and supports sustainability as it reduces the need to mine virgin metal ore. However, the ship recycling industry is under constant scanner of international environmental groups for causing harm to the environment and human health and safety. In this article, we shed light on the health, safety and environment (HSE) procedures followed at ship recycling yards in Alang which hold statements of compliance (SoC) with the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) issued by IACS-member classification societies such as ClassNK, RINA and IR Class.


Within the past few years, we have seen tremendous changes in the HSE standards at the ship recycling yards in India as currently 61 yards (almost half of the active yards) in Alang hold valid HKC SoC. This has resulted in improved infrastructure as well as in the implementation of standard operating procedures at ship recycling yards.

The compliant yards in Alang use impervious flooring to undertake cutting operations of blocks obtained from ships into smaller pieces as well as to keep machinery and electrical equipment. At the same time, hazardous waste obtained from dismantling ships is kept at dedicated storage rooms also fitted with impervious floors. The use of impervious flooring for secondary cutting and storage prevents the seepage of oil, chemicals, heavy metals and other hazardous materials into the soil.

For yards holding HKC SoC, it is compulsory to inspect blocks dismantled from ships since only clean blocks are allowed to fall in the inter-tidal zone during low tide. Such blocks must be immediately lifted and placed on impervious floor for further cutting. In most cases, almost all blocks are made to fall within the vessel to prevent polluting the soil and sea water. In a few yards, heavy cranes are fixed close to the inter-tidal zone that can reach from forepeak to aft of the vessel, and every block is lifted by cranes and placed on impervious floor meeting the EUSRR requirements.

Waste Management

All recycling yards in Alang are obliged to use government approved sub-contractors to manage waste generated during the ship recycling process. Various government agencies have approved sub-contractors to undertake activities such as asbestos decontamination, disposal of special hazardous wastes including garbage, batteries, bilge water, electronic waste, cables, bio-medical waste, ozone-depleting substances, etc., and dismantling activities related to smoke detectors, removal of oil and oily waste such as rags, sand, sludge, etc.

There are also specialized approved agencies to issue naked light certificates (hot work permits) and permits for confined space entry. Moreover, cutting work can only be started on a ship once a decontamination certificate is issued by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and cutting permission is granted by the Gujarat Maritime Board after a thorough inspection by the officials.

Training and Welfare

Yards in Alang holding HKC SoC have an education and training plan for workers in place. This plan consists of training courses related to general safety, handling and management of hazardous materials, fire protection and prevention, first aid, oil spill on sea and plot, gas cutting operation, working at height, confined space entry, removal of asbestos-containing material, crane and forklift operation, batteries handling operation, and mock drills on fire-fighting, first-aid, evacuation, oil/chemical spill on ground or in sea.

We, at GMS, in collaboration with the classification society IR Class provide frequent training to safety officers and workers of ship recycling yards located in Alang. Safety training is also provided by government bodies such as the Gujarat Maritime Board and other stakeholders including yard owners in collaboration with well-known classification societies.

In fact, a 12-day training program organized by the Gujarat Maritime Board is compulsory for all workers working on ship recycling yards in Alang. Every worker is issued with an identity card by the Board before they are allowed to work on the yards. Child labor is strictly prohibited, and every worker is insured with Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, a scheme run by the government of India. Some yard owners provide an accommodation facility designed as per ILO standards for workers.

Standard Operating Procedures

In order to streamline yard operations, all yards in Alang holding HKC SoC are required to have standard operating procedures (SOPs) for various tasks that are required to be undertaken during recycling of ships. This includes SOPs for safe-for-entry; safe-for-hot work; welding, cutting, grinding and heating; prevention of falling from heights and accidents caused by falling objects; housekeeping and illumination; maintenance and decontamination of tools and equipment; health and sanitation; personal protective equipment; worker exposure and medical monitoring; emergency preparedness and response plan (EPRP); fire and explosion prevention, detection and response; environmental monitoring.

SOPs are also in place for management of hazardous materials including asbestos, PCBs, ODSs, TBTs, paints, oil, bilge and ballast water and heavy metals; spill prevention, control and countermeasures; storm-water pollution prevention; debris prevention and control; and incident and spills reporting. Also, each HKC-compliant yard has a dedicated fire-fighting, first aid, oil spill control and emergency response team.

The SOPs aim to achieve worker safety and health compliance as well as environmental compliance. Such procedures would be useful to prevent adverse effects to human health and safety. At the same time, these procedures will facilitate environmental monitoring, environmentally sound management of hazardous materials and prevention of adverse effects to environment.

The SOPs are further supported by the plethora of records that are required to be maintained by the yards. These records are audited from time to time by the classification society that certifies the yard. Moreover, Gujarat Maritime Board is strict with respect to the implementation of domestic regulations, in particular, the Ship Breaking Code 2013. Therefore, 11 dedicated safety officers are allotted zone-wise to ensure safety measures are implemented at yards. There is a provision to impose fines in case any deviation from the Code is observed.

The improvements related to infrastructure, waste management, workers’ training and operating procedures have changed the face of the ship recycling industry in Alang as the process employed to recycle end-of-life ships now takes care of implications to environment and workers’ health and safety. The use of technical documents such as the Ship Recycling Facility Plan (SRFP) for every yard, the Ship Recycling Plan (SRP) and the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) for every ship within the purview of the HKC has also improved the overall recycling process on yards holding HKC SoC. Some yards in Alang operate with the principle of “one ship two safety officers” – one safety officer on board and the other on ground – to ensure the safe and environmentally sound operations.

Shipowners are increasingly recognizing India as a preferred destination for ‘green’ recycling services. This is likely to be increased further in the coming years with Chinese market closing for foreign flagged ships after December 2018. However, it is still not clear what stance will be taken by the European Commission on the inclusion of Indian yards in its long-awaited list of approved recycling facilities.

Dr. Kanu Priya Jain and Dr. Anand Hiremath are part of the Responsible Ship Recycling Dept. at GMS (Dubai).

Source: maritime-executive. 27 May 2018

HKSOA urges ratification of Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling “as soon as possible”

The Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) highlighted the fact that Hong Kong and China should ratify the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling as soon as possible.

Citing a joint industry press release after the recent Asian Shipowners Association (ASA) meeting in Hong Kong, it reaffirmed the commitment to the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Recycling of Ships and highlighted the urgently needed steps to bring this into force. The meeting was also attended by BIMCO, ECSA, ICS and tanker owners’ group Intertanko,

“Hong Kong and China as major ship registries, and China with many ship recycling facilities, are especially encouraged to ratify the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) as soon as possible as this will significantly speed up ratification,” the release said.

It noted that the demand for ship recycling in 2018, particularly in the tanker sector, is expected to increase.

“After reviewing the increasing need to expand the number of HKC-compliant ship recycling facilities around the world, the joint industry meeting agreed that the entry into force of the HKC was critical. To be able to bring the HKC into force however, it is essential that the ship recycling states commit to improving the standards of ship recycling and ratify the HKC,” the release noted.

All participating associations were urged to approach their respective governments to hasten the process of ratification of HKC while also requesting their respective governments to include ratification of the HKC as an agenda item when having an opportunity to talk with officials of the ship recycling states.

All ship recycling states were also encouraged to ratify the HKC and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and its member states was encouraged to establish a team for early enactment of the HKC under IMO which would act as a focal point for activities of the concerned stakeholders including governments, recyclers, workers, shipowners and observer organisations.

The call however would seem to sound a bit hollow in the light of China’s decision in April to ban the import of scrapped ships by the end of 2018.

Separately, the International Ship Recycling Association (ISRA) said in a statement that this recent development “is challenging for the ship recycling industry as a whole”.

ISRA added: “The announcement to stop importing recycle ships in China could close some of the best recycling facilities in the world that match the Hong Kong Convention and the EU ship recycling regulation requirements. Since the IMO started to discuss Ship Recycling regulations, a number of Chinese ship recycling facilities have upgraded and invested in their facilities enormously. This made these yards the first in the world to recycle ships at the highest standards available on Health, Safety and Environment.”

ISRA noted that if the ban is really implemented, well over 2.5m tons of high standard capacity will be taken out of the global market and “can be seen as a major step back in the global development towards environmental and human safe ship recycling”.

ISRA secretary-general Bernard Veldhoven said: “ISRA is concerned about this recent development and is available to regulators around the world to discuss and assist in keeping this important capacity for the maritime industry. We would welcome the Chinese government to review its announcement and maintain this important ship recycling capacity for the future.”

Source: seatrade-maritime. 31 May 2018

Sydport business continues to dismantle vessels

Federal government contracts worth more than $18 million
EDWARDSVILLE, N.S. — A ship breaking company based in the Sydport Business Park has completely dismantled one military vessel and now has two more in its sights.

Work to dismantle the former HMCS Preserver, an auxiliary oiler replacement ship decommissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy in 2017, began earlier this spring at the Marine Recycling Corp. dockyard in Sydport Business Park. The Port Colbourne, Ont.-based company was awarded a $12.6-million federal tender last summer to dismantle the Preserver and CFAV Quest. A third vessel, the former HMCS Athabaskan, will be broken up by May 2019.

Marine Recycling Corp. completed the work on CFAV Quest, a former Canadian Forces auxiliary vessel, earlier this spring and crews are now breaking up the former HMCS Preserver, an auxiliary oiler replacement ship decommissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy in 2017.

The Port Colbourne, Ont.-based company was awarded a $12.6-million federal tender to dismantle both ships last summer. In January, Ottawa announced a $5.7-million contract to break up the former HMCS Athabaskan at its dock in Sydport.

Related: Sydport to host shipbreaking of former navy ships
Contaminated material including PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), oils, corrosive chemicals and florescent light tubes containing mercury phosphor powder have been removed from all three vessels and taken to facilities able to handle the hazardous waste, said Wayne Elliott, founder and director of business development for Marine Recycling Corp.

“Our company handles a lot of that material, of course, back here in Ontario as well. We’ve been handling these kinds of wastes for many, many years,” he said.

“All of the wastes go on hazardous waste manifests and permanent waste carriers and vacuum trucks in the case of liquids.”

The PCB waste is transported to the Swan Hills Treatment Centre in Alberta and to another facility in Ontario.

The scrap metal from the Quest had been reduced to “charging box size” material that’s melted down and recycled for any number of uses — typically converted into rods and bars, which are used in the construction industry.

There are about 25 employees working on the dismantling of the ships, according to Elliott.

Eight of those employed are members of the Eskasoni First Nation.

Steve Parsons, general manager of Eskasoni corporate services, said the indigenous community struck a relationship with the ship breaking company last year.

“When they identified that they would need welders and fabricators, I had recently got individuals from the band trained over the last three or four years — they had been in and out of different companies based on the work available — I approached Wayne and his company hoping to create a relationship with him as he was a new company in town,” he said.

“They were willing to give some of our band members an opportunity and a chance because they had a need for skilled workers. Everything is working fine … and when they need somebody, they continue to come back to us.”

Parsons said the band hands over résumés to Marine Recycling Corp., which then does the hiring.

Elliott said he does expect the number of hires to increase over the coming months to as many as 35 and indicated there could be new contracts signed by the end of 2018.

“There are some opportunities coming up and I think by the end of the year we expect the first one and go from there,” he said.

“We see a good long-term business (in Sydport) of recycling all types of vessels, really.”


Marine Recycling Corp.:

• Awarded federal government contract in August 2017 to dismantle the former CFAV Quest and HMCS Preserver for $12.6 million.

• In January, Ottawa tendered a $5.7-million contract to break up former HMCS Athabaskan.

• Work on Athabaskan to continue to May 2019.

Twitter: @cbpost_chris

Source: cape breton post. 28 May 2018