29 October 2010

End of the road for third Shinyo VLCC:

Fred Cheng company Shinyo International is said to have sold the 248,000­dwt tanker Shinyo Alliance (built 1991) for scrapping in India for $445 per ldt or $13.02m.

The owner bought the ship in 2002 as Tokiwa for $24.5m. The deal may have been concluded some time ago but has only just surfaced.

Shinyo has sold two other VLCCs for scrap this year, the 271,000­dwt  Shinyo Mariner (built 1991) in May for $435 per ldt and 250,000­dwt Shinyo Jubilee (built 1988) for $415 per ldt in January. Cheng earlier this year sold seven modern VLCCs to US­listed Navios Corp.

Greek owner Chandris has fetched an even higher price for its 82,000­dwt tanker Zeinat 2 (built 1986), reported sold to India for $482 per ldt or $7.1m.

Brokers say the buyer was expecting prices to climb further by December, when the ship is set to be delivered. Chandris bought the ship as Ist in 2005 for $16.75m. It is the last singlehull tanker in the company’s fleet and was operating for its Egyptian subsidiary, Pyramid Navigation.

On the dry side, a couple of Chinese­owned bulkers have been sold for demolition domestically. The 29,000­dwt Bao Yue Jia (built 1978) is said to have gone for $415 per ldt, while owner Adani Shipping has sold the 17,300­dwt Flotec (built 1982) for in excess of $400 per ldt or about $3m.

The company bought the ship as Theofano in 2006 for $5.6m.

Elsewhere, NB Maritime of Cyprus has sold the 19,900­dwt ice­class bulker  Norilsk (built 1982). It is also heading to China for $415 per ldt, which equals $4.5m.

On the boxship front, the 2,829­teu MSC Voyager (built 1980) is said to have been sold to India for a firm $470 per ldt or $6.7m.

Source: Trade Winds. Trond Lillestolen. 29 October 2010

Outlook Hazy on Demolition Front:

Opinions differ over the consequences of market upheaval.

Opinions are split over the direction of demolition prices given the ongoing scrapping hiatus in Bangladesh and ethnic tensions in Pakistan.

Anil Sharma of Global Marketing Systems (GMS) and Tahir Lakhani of Dubai Trading Agency put contrasting spins on what the market may expect.

Sharma sees a potential short term spike in prices to around $500 per ldt if the price of steel holds or strengthens and Bangladesh reopens for business in the next few weeks.

Bangladesh has been absent for the past six months after the imposition of stricter environmental regulations.

“It will not last long but I can see it happening,” said Sharma of a possible uplift in prices, which have recently seen bulkers and tankers securing around $440 per ldt, although some have gone for much more.

Lakhani, however, says he doubts $500 per ldt can be achieved in the foreseeable future given examples of India paying as low as $425 per ldt.

He questions market chatter of Bangladeshi breakers rushing to replenish stocks. It may be open initially for 10 or so ships but recyclers are unlikely to act like fools, he says.

Demolition men:
Cash buyers attending a private luncheon to mark the launch of tradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum scheduled for 1-2 march 2011 in Dubai.
From left, Ali Lakhani, Dubai trading Agency, Steve Wansell, Mideast Shipping & Trading, Anil Sharma, Global marketing Systems (GmS), mujibur
Rahman milon, Silvia Shiptrade (S) Pte Ltd, Tahir Lakhani, Dubai Trading Agency, and Briac Beilvert, eckhardt marine
Unconfirmed reports say the environmental authorities in Bangladesh may have authorised as many as 12 breakers to resume activities but with a long list of conditions attached.

Lakhani says that until a ship is beached again in Bangladesh, that market should be seen as closed

The market has also been knocked by scores of deaths due to the ethnic violence in Pakistan.

Lakhani points to reports of 350,000 tonnes of material lying at Gadani because buyers are not coming forward following the troubles and collections have halted.

GMS talks in its last report of activity in Pakistan drawing to a standstill, with most vessel buyers lying low and many uncontactable.

Despite positive sentiment in India, the market earlier this week was said to be falling, despite the approaching Diwali holidays, prior to which prices normally rise.

Money, it is claimed by one source, is being sucked out of Alang by big share issues in India that offer investors better returns.

Meanwhile, some cash buyers are said to have been selling at a loss, including one vessel bought for $448 per ldt “as is” in Fujairah but sold this week on a delivered basis at $440 per ldt. Examples involving other cash buyers have also surfaced.

“The market is very bad at the moment and I feel it will remain bad,” claimed one cash buyer. Others are less worried.

India is said to have picked up various tankers originally bound for Bangladesh and that have been gas freed for hotwork to comply with the new regulations in India.

The extra cost is being borne, it is said, by either owners or cash buyers.

Meanwhile, Sharma says 2010 has turned out to be a much slower year for demolition than 2009 when, he says, around 1,000 vessels went to the torch. Last year saw a lot of containerships recycled, whereas this year it has been tankers.

The more muted supply in 2010, especially in the dry market, is because of charter rates remaining relatively firm, says Sharma.

Also, owners who bought older tonnage at high prices have been reluctant to sell.

Sharma believes some owners have held on to ships, especially tankers, in anticipation of Bangladesh reopening.

He estimates that this year between 700 and 800 vessels will be recycled.

Lakhani says the year­end total could be as low as 600 if Bangladesh does not reopen. He puts 2009’s total at closer to 700 to 800 vessels.

Sharma and Lakhani joined various other cash buyers, brokers, lawyers and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s Nikos Mikelis at a luncheon at London’s Lanesborough Hotel to mark the launch of TradeWinds’s Ship Re­cycling Forum to be held in Dubai on 1­2 March 2011.

Source: Trade Winds. By Geoff Garfield. 29 October 2010

28 October 2010

BP’s Scheme to Dump Toxic Ship on South Asian Scrapping Beach Under Scrutiny by US Officials

BP Complicit In Plan To Dump Toxic Ship - BAN
October 28, 2010

According to the toxic watchdog organization Basel Action Network (BAN), a U.S. flagged oil tanker named "Prince William Sound”, that is part owned by BP (NYSE: BP) is about to be sold for scrapping on the notorious shipbreaking beaches in South Asia.

The ship, built in 1975 and whose namesake and owner are all too familiar reminders of recent environmental disasters. The ship is likely to contain toxic wastes such as asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances, and as such, BAN said it poses a threat to workers and the environment should it be exported to a developing country.

The vessel is reportedly moored now in a BP shipping depot in Malaysia, and its transfer is imminent. If the U.S. government fails to quickly intervene, the ship could be run up on the beaches of India, Bangladesh or Pakistan within days, where impoverished laborers break down ships by hand, subjecting them to explosions, accidents and occupational disease from exposure to toxic substances. This “beaching” method of scrapping ships is also devastating to local environments due to pollution and mangrove forest destruction undertaken to make room for the ships.

According to officials at the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD), the sale must first be approved by them based in part by a determination by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the export will not violate the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) or other environmental laws. They have been notified by the ship’s owners (it is 25% owned by BP) of their intent to sell the vessel for scrap to a cash-buyer. BAN said these middleman-buyers allow companies like BP to both sidestep controversy and avoid direct sales to Asian shipbreaking yards and also make a large profit by avoiding responsible and more expensive ship recycling in the U.S. or another developed country.

“BP is proving once again a callous disregard for people and the environment,” said BAN’s Green Ship Recycling Campaign Director, Colby Self. “The EPA and MARAD must step in now and prevent what could be another BP-sponsored environmental disaster.”

Unlike BP, Chevron (NYSE: CVX) opted this year to recycle two of its tankers in Brownsville, Texas, in accordance with strict U.S. environmental and labor protection laws. Chevron’s environmentally responsible ship disposal decisions in 2010 generated U.S. green jobs at a time when U.S. jobs are much needed.
Due to the year of construction, the “Prince” likely contains PCBs, asbestos of other hazardous materials within its construction. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), in force since 1979, prohibits the export of PCB contaminated material for disposal purposes. However, the U.S. EPA has long struggled to enforce TSCA against shipping industry violators, particularly when vessels operate outside U.S. waters and beyond EPA jurisdiction.

MARAD is required by law to authorize the foreign scrapping and reflagging to foreign registry of all U.S. flagged vessels; but in past years, BAN’s protests have revealed that MARAD’s review neglected to consider the potential violation of laws that were enforceable by agencies outside MARAD’s jurisdiction. As a result, many U.S. vessels were reflagged and sold or scrapped abroad in violation of TSCA, BAN said. Now, MARAD and EPA have established a new process of review in which MARAD seeks EPA judgment to ensure compliance with TSCA prior to any reflagging or foreign scrapping authorization.

“The new Maritime Administration should be applauded for promising to more carefully monitor ship sales to prevent violations of U.S. environmental laws,” said Mr. Self. “But this is the test case. It’s time to take a stand and uphold environmental and labor protection laws for everyone everywhere. We urge MARAD and EPA to halt this sale as a matter of urgency.”

BAN is the world's only organization focused on confronting the global environmental injustice and economic inefficiency of toxic trade (toxic wastes, products and technologies) and its devastating impacts. Working at the nexus of human rights and environment, we confront the issues of environmental justice at a macro level, preventing disproportionate and unsustainable dumping of the world's toxic waste and pollution on our global village's poorest residents. At the same time we actively promote the sustainable and just solutions to our consumption and waste crises -- banning waste trade, while promoting green, toxic free and democratic design of consumer products.

Website: www.ban.org

Mr. Colby Self
Green Ship Recycling Campaign Director
Basel Action Network
+001 206 250 5652

Source: 28 October 2010

Intelligent Ship-Breaking: Getting ready for 2015

Ship Recycling, a challenging aspect on the conscience of shipping, is finally being addressed by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). The new convention will provide regulations for the design, construction, operation and preparation for recycling of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling. How can shipowners and yards prepare for the new requirements?

Every new ship would have to enter service with a certified Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM). "This has to be updated through a ship's life time", explained Henning Gramann, Environmental Engineer and expert for Ship Recycling at GL. "Existing ships would also be provided with such an inventory within the first five years the convention enters into force - or before the vessel is sent for demolition, whatever comes first." Recycling Facilities would need to comply with safety and environmental requirements to gain their authorization and e.g. handle and dispose of hazardous material safely.

Ship Recycling States will be required to take effective measures to ensure that Ship Recycling Facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the convention. "When an owner decides to scrap a vessel, a facility approved in line with the requirements of the convention has to be chosen. The combination of the abilities of and methods applied at this facility and the ship characteristics like size and hazardous materials contained, will be considered for preparation of the specific Ship Recycling Plan by the ship recycler.

This plan has to be approved by the Recycling State and is required for issuance of the International Ready for Recycling Certificate by the Flag State", he added. "This means ships will have to undergo an initial survey to verify the inventory of hazardous materials at the beginning of their operational life, or in-between for existing ships, re-surveys during the life of the ship, and a final survey directly prior to recycling."

In order to assist shipyards and shipowners in the implementation of the new convention a series of guidelines are being developed. The entry into force criteria for the convention (number of states required and percentage of gross merchant shipping tonnage plus consideration of ship recycling capacity) will be decided by the Diplomatic Conference when formally adopting the proposed convention and starting the ratification process.

Source: GL website

WSM in Tradewinds China Ship Recycling Forum:

WSM participated in an expert discussion at the Tradewinds China Ship Recycling Forum 2010, Beijing on 28-29 September 2010.

In this forum, our Project Manager for Green Services, Mr Rakesh Bhargava gave a talk on “Can ship recycling ever really be green at a cost acceptable to shipping?" It was an interesting topic where we get a lot of feedback and comments from the floor especially during the panel discussion.

Below are amongst other topics focused in the conference:

  • Asian shipowners and what they look for when scrapping - top dollar or a green solution? Role of NGOs on China's recycling industry
  • Lessons from Bangladesh - real progress to improve standards or a pyrrhic victory
  • A mixed message for shipowners?  What is the policy position on recycling during the interim period, based on current dealings with regulators in Northern Europe?
  • Do China's recycling facilities represent the way forward for scrapping?  What is the capacity for scrapping in China and is it going to be enough?
  • What are the drivers for recycling in China?  What are the scrap and build incentives?
The conference was well attended by a good mix of ship owners, financiers, bankers and legal community.

Source: Wilhelmsen Ship Management. 28 October 2010

26 October 2010

Code of conduct on Ship Recycling:

The other day in a stormy evening, three workers at a shipbreaking yard at Sitakundu in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh were crushed to death as a heavy steel plate fell on them. In nearly past two decades, no less than 500 workers were killed in accidents while at work at Sitakundu, home to the world’s second largest ship breaking yard after Alang along the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat. This Bangladeshi toll is exclusive of many deaths, mostly unrecorded, caused by handling of hazardous waste materials and emission of toxic fumes.

Arguably, the scene at Alang was equally despicable till the Supreme Court started issuing orders to the government to ensure the safety, health and welfare of ship-breaking workers. The ministry of steel, again under the court directive, is formulating a code of conduct for the yards incorporating the recommendations of a committee of technical experts. A common problem of India and Bangladesh is that in spite court directives, ship-breaking yards, which were a law unto themselves till some time ago, are still prone to breaking rules. That’s why workers get killed or injured at yards not infrequently and areas in and around Alang and Sitakundu remain dangerously polluted. The scene is no different at Pakistan’s Gadani shipbreaking yard either.

NGOs and environment activists would want such yards to be shut. But since condemned ships are a good source of clean ferrous scrap good for direct rerolling into new steel products, governments of the three countries would rather subject yard owners in boundaries of discipline than go for yard closure. A Bangladeshi minister has made the government's policy choice clear by saying that "our closing down the ship-breaking yard will turn the country into a market for foreign ironmongers. We are trying to create a separate zone for the industry in line with the prime minister's directive." India looks at the ship-breaking industry more or less in the same way.

According to G K Basak, executive secretary of Joint Plant Committee of the steel ministry, of India's annual requirements of up to 12 million tonnes of ferrous scrap, as much as 3.5 million tonnes this year will come from dismantled ships, against 3 million tonnes in 2009-10. The generation of good quality rerollable steel in large quantities when ocean going ships are beached and dismantled underpins the importance of ship-breaking industry, its present pitfalls notwithstanding. While scrap steel originating in ships is the favoured feedstock for many rerolling units here, nearly 200 rerollers in Bangladesh depend heavily on about 2 million scrap generated at Sitakundu. Gadani generated over 850,000 tonnes of scrap last year for use by Pakistan’s rerolling industry.

Over 65 per cent of steel recovered from a condemned ship comes good for rerolling. But why so? This is because rerolling of ship plates requires reheating of only up to 1,000 degree centigrade and that greatly restricts scale formation. Ship steel, as rerollers say, has fine grains giving it a good corrosion resistance character. A steel ministry paper says shapes and sections rerolled from ship steel are largely immune from physical defects like seams, internal cracks and furnace burns. Rebars made from low ductility ship steel lend themselves well to intensive cold twisting. Ship steel not found good for rerolling goes for melting.

Roughly 45,000 ocean going ships are floating on waters and each year up to 1,000 ships are beached. Ships remain seaworthy for up to 25 years. But there is a general tendency among ship owners to keep their vessels afloat beyond their useful life when the freight market stays buoyant. Like other sectors, freight market bore the burden of both financial crisis followed by downturn in world trade. Baltic main index continues to behave erratically. Shipping will always be impacted by what happens to the global economy, for nearly 90 per cent of traded goods globally are transported by sea.

In any case, at all times the three countries in this sub-continent will remain locked in competition to buy old ships. Ship-breaking, though it has a murky past, has an important bearing on the coastal economy of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is a highly labour intensive operation providing jobs to both skilled and unskilled workers. The units at Alang accounting for over 90 per cent of the industry provide employment to over a lakh of people. More than the revenue consideration for the government, what is important is that to the extent ship steel is generated and recycled either through rerollers or furnaces leads to conservation of iron ore, coal and energy.

This industry cannot be wished away. But at the same time strict vigilance of the work of shipbreakers is called for. The government should also nudge them to use modern fuel based torches, mechanical cutters, detonation charges for handling very thick metal and cranes for transfer of steel and other materials. Why should the workers be pressured to carry heavy metal plates endangering their lives? Every time a ship is to be broken, it must have a comprehensive dismantling plan from the superstructure to the hull.

Kunal Bose | 2010-10-26

24 October 2010

US Navy seeks new shipbreaking techniques:

The US Naval Facilities Engineering Services Center (NFESC) and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD) are looking for established 'new' technologies that would help reduce emissions to the environment during shipbreaking/demolition activities. Of particular interest is the reduction of metal cutting emissions and occupational exposures in naval shipyards and other locations. Proposed state-level environmental legislation and regulations across 50 US states will require these new technologies.

A baseline set of data should be available to indicate that any new technologies are viable options for ship demolition applications and ideally applications should be as easy as oxy fuel cutting, and preferably inexpensive and efficient.

NFESC is not interested in technologies that have previously been demonstrated at Navy shipyard facilities; however Army, USMC, and Air Force sites are acceptable.

Technologies must be ready for technology transfer to real operations (no lab optimization phase).

They should not feature enclosure tents and/or industrial ventilations systems unless the technology can demonstrate truly innovative technology/methodologies that will meet the aforementioned requirements.

Environmental emissions should include air pollution, water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, recycling (if applicable), water conservation, footprint, hazardous materials transportation, toxic substances control, site remediation, worker health and safety, and sustainability.

Organizations should provide information regarding available technologies, but upon successful informational gathering, these technologies could lead to further technology demonstration efforts at naval shipyards. 

Until 31 December 2010, providers can submit their technology by responding to Sources Sought - N6258310R0466 at -

FEDBIZOPS  https://www.fbo.gov/ or 
NECO  https://www.neco.navy.mil/

Source: By Lindsay Gale. 21 October 2010

Alang’s death yard breaking news again

LAST WEEK 28-year-old Janardhan Choudhary became this (2010) year’s 24th fatality at the world’s largest ship-breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat. Local NGOs, however, claim that the figure is more than double that.

Such deaths have been routinely ignored by vessel owners and officials of the regulator, the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB). But this time the news reached the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on ship-breaking, a wing of the steel ministry. And soon the Prime Minister’s Office was seeking details of the case from Dalip Singh, joint secretary at the ministry, about how the IMC planned to handle the crisis.

Central to the issue is the ministry draft code on safe ship recycling that was prepared following a Supreme Court order three years ago, but which vessel owners continue to pass over. A top GMB official rubbished the charges, claiming that the deaths had been meticulously reported by the board. “We do push ship-breakers to comply with all the regulations. But accidents can always happen,” GMB vice-chairman Pankaj Kumar said over the telephone.

Sources say 50-70 workers die every year at Alang. Alarmed, a Central government team led by Singh and S Machendranathan, additional secretary and financial adviser to the steel ministry, visited Alang last month and issued strict directions to the GMB and the ship-breakers to improve the working and living conditions of the roughly 5,000 workers at the yard.

Earlier this year, Okechukwu Ibeanu of the UN Human Rights Council, a special rapporteur on the baneful impact of the movement and dumping of toxic and hazardous products, had been shocked to see the appalling conditions in which the workers at Alang lived.

There are also concerns over environmental damage — about the reportedly chaotic manner in which beaching, cutting and shipbreaking in the inter-tidal zone are done. “It has long been obvious to experts that in such a zone these can never be done without harming the environment,” says Gopal Krishna of Toxics Link, an NGO that works closely with the workers at Alang.

According to him, it is simply not possible to contain pollutants on a tidal beach where hulls of ships are often breached, or toxic paints erode, releasing organic pollutants, heavy metals and oils onto the beach and into the sea.

But the ship-breakers have a different take on this. “The wet sand surface makes it impossible to install emergency gear in the hull,” argues Pravin Nagarsheth, president, Iron and Steel Scrap Association of India.
Now what does the regulator have to say on that?

Source: Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 43, Dated October 20, 2010
BY SHANTANU GUHA RAY. shantanu.guharay@fwtehelka.com

17 October 2010

Worker dies at Alang Shipbreaking yard in India:

INDIA: Janardhan Choudhary, a 28 year old shipbreaking worker, working in M/s Bansal Infra Co. Ltd. at yard no.154 Alang Shipbreaking yard, died as a result of a fatal accident at work on October 12, 2010 at about 3.00 pm.

While he was working as a Malpani (helper), scrap material from the ship fell down in the open wing tank manhole of the ship. He was shifted to hospital at Bhavnagar, 50 kms away from Alang and Sosiya shipbreaking yards, where he died. Janardhan is a migrant labour from Siddhartha Nagar, an impoverished district of Uttar Pradesh. He is married and his family stays at his native place.

Mr. Ram Patel, Vice President of Alang Sosiya Ship Recycling & General Workers Association (ASSRGWA) along with colleagues rushed to the hospital.

The ASSRGWA demanded strict action against the employer and the Labour Department for non-enforcement of safety measures on the yards statutory compensation and dues to the family members of the deceased worker.

The shipbreaking industry in Alang and Sosiya employs over 55,000 workers. Despite the number of deadly accidents and hundreds of workers' death, a full-fledged hospital is 50 kms away.

According to a survey published by International Metalworkers' Federation in 2007, on average 50 workers per day get injured and some of them seriously.

As per records of the union ASSRGWA since January 2010, 17 workers died at work. Most of the workers are poor migrants from poor areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Gujarat and work for meagre wages in a hazardous and toxic working environment.

Source: IMF. By G. Manicandan. 15 October 2010

15 October 2010

Despite asbestos risk, shipbreaking is still a viable industry in Bangladesh

In late September, news came from Dhaka, Bangladesh that the State Minister for Environment and Forest, Hasan Mahmud, and the national government were in the midst of finalizing a policy to ensure that the ship-breaking industry would operate without polluting the environment. To prevent the elimination of the ship-building industry, which Mahmud claims will turn Bangladesh into a “market for foreign ironmongers,” the government is hoping to establish a separate zone for this industry.

Ruling Awami League lawmaker and Chief of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour and Employment Ministry, M. Israfil Alam, however, believes that ship-breaking is an extremely hazardous and polluting industry and is demanding its immediate closure. Israfil supported his demands by citing the High Court in Hyderabad, India ban on all ship scrapping.

“Our High Court gave some directives for the ship breaking yards but the owners seldom comply with those directives. They are making our environment more vulnerable by bringing in abandoned ships loaded with asbestos which is very harmful for public health,” said Israfil, who is entirely correct about the danger of asbestos within the shipbuilding and breaking industry.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring yet carcinogenic mineral long used in shipbuilding. Long term exposure to asbestos is known to cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen and the organs contained therein. Asbestos is most dangerous when it is disturbed, causing it to break and crumble, which in turn releases toxic fibers into the air that can be easily inhaled.

If they do not wear the proper protective gear and the industry is not properly regulated, ship-breakers are at a very high risk of breathing asbestos on a daily basis and contracting the oftentimes fatal pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs. However, Minister Mahmud insists that all importers require clearance certificates that the ships do not carry any harmful substances and that the government is “now working on how to dismantle the vessels and ensure safe and hazard free environment at the same time.”

Source: October 12, 2010

14 October 2010

WSM promotes green products at Asia Ship Recycling Summit, Shanghai

WSM has again staged its green products. This time, at the Asia Ship Recycling & Sales & Purchase Summit 2010 in Shanghai from July 1-2, 2010.

Green ship recycling is gaining global popularity. Environmental groups now will focus on their "Off the Beach" campaign. IMO phase-out scheme for single hull tankers has been carried out. ISO 30000 has also been developed and popularized. The future of ship recycling industry looks more prominent.

We believe Green Recycling is the social responsibility of the ship owner.  Ship owners who feel they are accountable for the environment will choose green ship recycling. 

Our green ship recycling services is a solid step on the green path. We make it possible and simple for shipowners to contribute to the environment. Our green recycling is based on a ship recycling plan which stated all ships to be recycled to have proper Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) or green passport. Together with our appointed / authorized shipyard, WSM monitors the demolition process. Our complete package is now ready to be offered to owners who would like to join in the green movement.

Source: Wilhelmsen Ship Management. Press Release. 14 October 2010

10 October 2010

Worker dies at Alang Shipbreaking yard in India:

28 year old worker dies on October 12, 2010 in a fatal accident at Alang Shipbreaking Yard in the state of Gujarat in India.

INDIA: Janardhan Choudhary, a 28 year old shipbreaking worker, working in M/s Bansal Infra Co. Ltd. at yard no.154 Alang Shipbreaking yard, died as a result of a fatal accident at work on October 12, 2010 at about 3.00 pm.

While he was working as a Malpani (helper), scrap material from the ship fell down in the open wing tank manhole of the ship.  He was shifted to hospital at Bhavnagar, 50 kms away from Alang and Sosiya shipbreaking yards, where he died. Janardhan is a migrant labour from Siddhartha Nagar, an impoverished district of Uttar Pradesh. He is married and his family stays at his native place.

Mr. Ram Patel, Vice President of Alang Sosiya Ship Recycling & General Workers Association (ASSRGWA) along with colleagues rushed to the hospital.

The ASSRGWA demanded strict action against the employer and the Labour Department for non-enforcement of safety measures on the yards statutory compensation and dues to the family members of the deceased worker.

The shipbreaking industry in Alang and Sosiya employs over 55,000 workers. Despite the number of deadly accidents and hundreds of workers' death, a full-fledged hospital is 50 kms away.

According to a survey published by International Metalworkers' Federation in 2007, on average 50 workers per day get injured and some of them seriously.

As per records of the union ASSRGWA since January 2010, 17 workers died at work.  Most of the workers are poor migrants from poor areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Gujarat and work for meagre wages in a hazardous and toxic working environment.

Source: International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF). By G. Manicandan. 15 October 2010

3 killed at shipbreaking yard in Chittagong:

Workers carrying heavy plates in a ShipBreaking yard in Chittagong
Three workers of a shipbreaking yard were crushed to death and another injured when a heavy iron plate fell on them at Madambibir Hat under Sitakunda upazila in the district on Saturday evening, 9 October 2010.

The deceased were identified as –
  1. Abul Kalam, 20, of Noakhali;
  2. Mohammad Faruk, 30, of Bhatiari area under Sitakunda uapzila and
  3. Abul Bashar, 35, of Bogra.
At least 12 workers were carrying the heavy plate of steel, witnesses said, adding that the death toll could increase.

Injured worker Aminul Islam, 25, was being treated in Chittagong Medical College Hospital till about 10:30pm.

The Sitakunda police officer-in-charge, Nur Mohammad, said a case had been filed in this connection.

A heavy iron plate suddenly fell on the three workers leaving them dead on the spot around 7.00pm while working at the yard of Sima Steel, owned by one Mohammad Shafi, said Abdur Razzak, sub-inspector of Sitakunda Police Station.

Police sent the bodies to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for autopsy after the deceased co-workers recovered them, Razzak said.

A number of workers, however, said the yard's owner allowed no one to enter the yard till filing this story at 10:00 pm.

With this, at least 34 workers were killed and several others injured in the last 18 months in 16 accidents in 16 shipyards, mostly due to explosions and coming in contact with toxic materials in ships.

On March 5, 2009, the Supreme Court directed the government to ensure safety of those working at shipbreaking yards.

The government has so far failed to comply with the directive, as it allows the yards to operate without ensuring workers' safety, and also without obtaining environment clearance certificates.

Source: The Daily Star, 10 October 2010

08 October 2010

More than 1,000 gallons of oil spills into Elizabeth River:

Oil spill in Elizabeth River (Source: Associated Press)
More than 1,000 gallons of oil spilled into the southern branch of Elizabeth River on Tuesday, according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The incident occurred at a ship dismantling facility in Chesapeake owned by Sea Solutions Corp. Workers had been cutting apart a container ship for its steel and pumping oil towards the stern when oil from the remainder of the ship leaked into a cove, the Coast Guard said.

A dredging crane builds an artifiacila oyster reef in 2002, in the southern branch of the Elizabeth River - The Virginian-Pilot 
Sea Solutions called the Coast Guard and hired Coastal Solutions, which removed more than 1,000 gallons of oil from the water. A containment boom prevented the oil from spreading beyond the cove, the Coast Guard said.

An undetermined amount of oil remains aboard the ship.

Source: The Daily Press. By Cory Nealon. 7 October 2010