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

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