05 August 2011

Shipbreaking helps meet Pakistan’s steel demand:

Tugging Rope at Gadani Shipbreaking Yard, Pakistan. Photo by Raja Islam
Pakistan’s shipbreaking industry is currently meeting 70 percent of iron and steel requirements of the country, after the increase in activity at Gaddani shipyard in Balochistan, according to a report released by the Pakistani Engineering Development Board (EDB).

In Pakistan, where steel mills have not been working at full capacity and cannot fulfill the country’s demand for steel, steel-related products and non-ferrous products and machinery, iron and steel obtained from shipbreaking is being used in these industries. 

However, a few years ago, the shipbreaking industry was on the verge of collapse with little activity, which made room for the smuggling of pipes from Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet states. The smuggled pipes fulfilled requirements for some time but then this source of supply stopped, putting the local mills in a very difficult situation.

Most of the re-rolling and re-melting mills have once again become dependant on the Gaddani shipbreakers for supplies. The EDB’s report quotes the Pakistan Ship Breaking Association announcing that shipbreaking activity at Gaddani Shipyard has broken the record for the last 12 years with more than 50 big ships being hammered currently, while 95 percent of the old scrap is recycled and reused.

The EDB said that, while ship prices in the international market are high, the increasing demand at home for steel and steel products has led to the purchase of more and more worn-out ships for dismantling.

The Karachi Iron and Steel Merchants Association have said that currently Gaddani shipbreaking is providing most of the requirements of Pakistani re-rolling mills.

Source: Steel Orbis. 4 August 2011

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