12 September 2011

A Statistical Overview of Ship Recycling:


IMO is currently developing the International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. For a background description of the draft Convention and of the main issues that were under discussion at the end of 2006, see Mikelis (2006). During discussions on the development of the new Convention the need has arisen for referring to relevant statistics to quantify some aspects of ship recycling. The author has taken the opportunity to collate and present in this paper statistical data which will hopefully be useful to the reader. 


During discussions on the development of the International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships the need has occasionally arisen for data and statistics relating to different aspects of the ship recycling activity.

Over time, the author has collected statistics –

  • on the size of the fleet to which the new Convention will apply when it enters into force;
  • on the expected annual demand for recycling Convention ships;
  • on the related statistic of the average age of recycled ships;
  • on whether the average age changes significantly over time; and
  • on statistics on recycled volumes in the major ship recycling markets.
While attempting to answer questions such as the above, more complex questions tend to arise, such as for example questions –

  • on the dynamics of supply and demand for ship scrap;
  • on the price differentials of ship scrap in the major ship recycling States; and
  • on the likely interaction between the new Convention and the dominant market forces.
The author has not attempted to address in any conclusive manner these complex questions, nor has he addressed the policy issues which were discussed at the recently held fiftysixth session of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee.

The paper presents some relevant data and statistics which hopefully will help the interested reader to form some clearer views on the subject. Also, the paper has identified and is discussing some of the difficulties and sources of inaccuracies associated with published statistical information on ship recycling.

Ship recycling; lightship; average age; standard deviation; recycling State.

Paper Presented in:
International Symposium on Maritime Safety, Security & Environmental Protection, Athens, September 2007

Author(s): Dr. Nikos E Mikelis

Author(s) Affiliation(s): International Maritime Oganisation (IMO)

Corresponding Author: Dr. Nikos E Mikelis. Email: nmikelis@imo.org

Source link: 2007

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