27 July 2011

Breather for Shipbreaking Sector:

Shipbreaking yard in Chittagong.
Photo courtesy: Tridib Ghose. October 2009
Bangladesh’s High Court has agreed to allow shipbreaking yards 3 more months to meet tougher safety and environmental rules on importing old ships to dismantle for scrap, a senior industry official said yesterday.

Rights activists had urged the court to reinstate a year-long ban on Bangladesh’s $1.5bn ship scrap industry, saying its activities remained too dangerous for workers and too costly for the environment. The ban was lifted in March.

Bangladesh, the top ship recycling nation from 2004 through 2008, hopes to bring in around 300 ships by the end of next year, up from 220 in 2009 before the ban, traders said.

“The court allowed for importing and dismantling of old ships that ensures the safety and security of both workers and environment,” Captain Salah Uddin, an adviser of the ship-breakers association told Reuters.

“Now the government has more time to do a draft and that has to be submitted to the court and the court will examine it.”

The court ordered the ministry of industry to draft new regulations for importing old ships, and a government committee to monitor the industry to ensure compliance.

Scrapped ships are the main source of steel for Bangladesh, which requires around 4mn tonnes each year.

Maritime recycling yards in the Indian subcontinent and China could see a boom that could run until 2013 as ship owners rush to get rid of ageing vessels, driven by an oversupplied freight market, low shipping rates and high steel prices.

Source: Maritime Connector. 26 July 2011

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