31 October 2011

Otapan case restores a precedent:

Restoring Le Clemenceau precedent, on 16 May 2008, a major victory was won by the environmental groups as the saga of the controversial ship Otapan finally came to a happy ending as it sailed after decontamination from Amsterdam to the Turkish shipbreaking yards of Aliaga, Turkey near Izmir.

The Otapan
The Otapan has a stirring history. Since 1999 the ship was in the Netherlands. In 2001, crew members were caught illegally and dangerously removing asbestos from the ship in the port of Amsterdam.

The Dutch ended up seizing the ship. In 2006 the former State Secretary Van Geel gave a permit for export to Turkey. While the ship was on its way to Turkey, Greenpeace Netherlands discovered that the license and the inventory on board listing hazardous wastes were incorrect. The Platform alerted Turkey and the government refused the ship. Despite a special visit to Ankara and an appeal by Van Geel, the Turkish government insisted on a full pre-cleaning and the Otapan came back to the Netherlands.

Source: IMO Watch

30 October 2011

Japan. MOL and Osaka Gas subsidiary sign construction deal for 2 LNG Carriers:

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Koichi Muto) today announced that MOL and Osaka Gas International Transport Inc. (OGIT; President: Yuichi Funahashi), subsidiary of Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. (President: Hiroshi Ozaki), have agreed on a plan to co-own two new LNG carriers. The agreement also includes a contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (MHI) to build the new vessels, which will be co-owned by MOL and OGIT. At the same time, MOL and Osaka Gas concluded a long-term LNG transport contract.

The new vessels are slated for launching in 2014 and 2015. MOL will manage and operate the ships, which will sail under a 20-year contract with Osaka Gas.

The 153,000m3(*1) class carriers will be the first in the world to feature a continuous tank cover for Moss spherical tanks integrated into the ship’s hull. Housing the four spherical LNG storage tanks under a continuous cover reduces weight while maintaining the ship’s overall strength. This will improve fuel efficiency. The adoption of a new steam turbine engine that features a system to capture and use reheating steam also contributes to higher fuel efficiency.

The new vessels’ high fuel efficiency will contribute to reduce CO2 emissions, and the use of natural gas as fuel will reduce sulfur oxide emissions.

They will also adopt a ballast water treatment system (*2), to protect marine ecosystems, and are built according to the Ship Recycle Treaty (*3), which will minimize environmental impact during scrapping and dismantling when their service lives end.

MOL strives to “offer transport solutions with a lower environmental burden” as one of the environmental strategies set out in the midterm management plan, “GEAR UP! MOL”. The company continually takes a proactive stance in providing LNG transport services that perfectly meet customer needs, backed by decades of experience and know-how as one of the world’s largest owners and operators of LNG carriers.

*1. The total capacity of the four LNG tanks is 155,000m3.

*2. Ballast water is seawater pumped on board a ship to stabilize it when no cargo is loaded, and then discharged when the cargo is loaded. The transport of ballast water can disrupt local marine ecosystems because vessels serving international routes move marine organisms from one region to another. An international treaty on ballast water management will establish requirements that ballast water be purified before discharge.

*3. A treaty aimed at reducing the risk of environmental pollution and injuries to workers is currently in development. It will require an inventory of harmful substances contained in the vessel, along with their locations, to ensure safe dismantling and recycling of vessels at the end of their useful lives.

[Outline of newbuilding LNG carrier]

(1) Length: About 288m
(2) Breadth: 48.94m
(3) Draft: 11.55m
(4) LNG storage tank: Stretched Moss-type independent spherical type
(5) Gross tonnage: 138,000 tons
(6) Deadweight capacity: 75,000 tons
(7) Main engine: Reheat type steam turbine
(8) Speed: 19.5 knots
(9) Shipyard: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
(10) Ship Management Company: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
(11) Launch: 2014 (first vessel), 2015 (second vessel)
(12) Names: To be announced

Source: BYM News. 29 October 2011

Metal: Swansea Drydocks gets permission for ship recycling facility

Environment Agency Wales is likely to give Swansea Drydocks (SDL) permission to operate a ship repair and recycling facility subject to a final consultation.

SDL hopes to invest £4 million into the facility that will dismantle ships to extract scrap metal from them.

Environment Agency Wales has given permission for the facility to begin operation, but this is only a draft decision and it will undertake a further consultation. Unless any further information comes forward from the public that forces Environment Agency Wales to change its decision, it will proceed with its decision.

In a statement, the company said: “Phase one of SDL’s £4 million capital investment plan will soon be completed, including over £1 million spent on infrastructure improvements that meet environmental best practice, and new machinery and equipment is on order.

“Ships for recycling will begin arriving as soon as authorisation has been obtained by the Environment Agency.”

Source: Scrap-Ex News. By Paul Sanderson. 27 October 2011

Welcome to Swansea Drydocks!

Since April 2011, when we took over the lease of the site, we have been working hard on making refurbishments, concreting the site, gaining our certificates and permissions, buying equipment and making contacts in the world of ship repair and recycling.  We are just about ready to begin.  Please keep coming back to the website for news updates, new photos and job postings.

Press release, 25 October 2011

About the Company:

Swansea Drydocks’ history of ship repair dates back to the early 20th century. Prince of Wales Dry Dock 2, previously known as Palmers Dry Dock, was established in 1923, and Prince of Wales Dry Dock 1, formerly known as the Duke of Edinburgh Dry Dock, was built in 1958. Historically, the dry docks have been operated by a number of companies, including CH Bailey, Prince of Wales Dry Dock Company, Trushippers, Bristol Channel Ship Repairers, Uglands, George Prior Engineering and Harris Pye, until the acquisition by the Dunn family to create Swansea Drydocks Ltd.

Until recently, the family owned and managed Dunn Brothers (1995) Ltd, one of the largest metal recyclers in the UK. The company, which was originally set up in 1962 by Alan Dunn and his brothers, was restructured in 1995, when sons Karl and David Dunn joined the business. Dunn Brothers (1995) invested strongly in modern technology and owned seven recycling centres in the Midlands, South Wales, South East England, and South West England. In both 2005 and 2007 the company won the Queen's Award for Enterprise, International Trade and in 2009, was recognised as a Sunday Times Top Track 250 company. In May 2011, the company was sold to Sims Metal, enabling Alan Dunn (Chairman), Karl Dunn (Managing Director) and David Dunn (Operations Director), to focus on developing and growing the dry docks company.

Once operational Swansea Drydocks will offer complete lifecycle services, from surveys, ongoing maintenance and repairs through to recycling end of life vessels. We are currently in the process of establishing the BS EN ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and BS OHSAS 18001:2007, which we aim to achieve by Q1 of 2012.

With our newly refurbished facilities and convenient location in the Port of Swansea we offer an attractive proposition to ship owners seeking high quality, reliable and environmentally responsible services.

Building on Swansea’s history of marine engineering craftsmanship, Swansea Drydocks’ vision is to create a world class ship repair and recycling facility that conforms to European standards for quality, environment and health and safety. Our services cover the full life cycle of a ship, from preparing the Inventory of Hazardous Materials and ongoing repair and maintenance, through to end of life ship recycling.


Swansea Drydocks offers 3 main services:

1. Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM)
2. Ship Repair, Maintenance and Conversion Services
3. Ship Recycling

1. Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM)

The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships was adopted in May 2009, with the aim of improving standards of safety and reducing environmental pollution resulting from the recycling of ships.

The IHM – also known as the Green Passport - is currently voluntary, however once the convention is in place owners of all new and existing ships weighing over 500GT will be required to maintain the inventory. The IHM provides information on the hazardous materials present on board, in order to protect health and safety and to prevent environmental pollution at ship recycling facilities. This information is used by recycling facilities to decide how to manage the types and amounts of materials identified in the IHM. The IHM accompanies the ship throughout its operating life and incorporates all relevant design and equipment changes, with the final owner delivering the document, with the ship, to the recycling facility. Swansea Drydocks will soon offer shipyards and owners IHM services for both new and existing ships.

Services include:

  • Managing the IHM survey process
  • Completing the IHM and coordinating with the ship’s classification society
  • Coordinating IHM surveys with other surveys requirements
  • Making recommendations for ongoing reduction of hazardous materials in line with legislation, policy and end-of-life strategy
  • Planned IHM alterations, coordinated with annual maintenance and repair activities
  • Continual through life management, through to final disposal
2. Ship Repair, Maintenance and Conversion Services

  • Routine docking work for hull coating renewal, other required underwater work, repairs, steelwork renewals and major refits.
  • Damage repairs, where extensive work, particularly to the ship’s structure, may be required. SDL offers comprehensive machining and manufacturing facilities, with machine and rebuilds undertaken.
  • Conversions, involving refitting ships for a different use.
3. Ship Recycling:

Swansea Drydocks will offer environmentally responsible ship recycling services, including:

  • Surveys: Hazardous chemicals surveys, investigation of tank and fuel systems, asbestos surveys, vessel surveys
  • Planning: Ballast management plan, asbestos contaminated materials removal plan, method statements for the removal of all hazardous wastes from the vessel, dismantling plan
  • Towing and dry docking
  • Wet berth or dry dock hazardous waste/asbestos contaminated materials removal
  • Tank and pipe cleaning
  • Recovery of reusable materials and equipment
  • Dry dock dismantling, hull cutting and scrap metal processing


Swansea Drydocks is situated in the Port of Swansea and easily accessible by the major shipping routes including the Atlantic, English Channel, Irish Sea and Bristol Channel.

Located in the Kings Dock which forms part of Swansea Bay, the site comprises two main operational areas connected by a road. The main area provides the Prince of Wales dry docks, waste processing and storage facilities as well as buildings, infrastructure and parking. The second area, which is located in the Queen’s Dock Basin, provides the Phoenix Wharf Repairing Berth, and additional waste storage facilities will be developed in the future.

The facility’s 2 dry docks are large enough to accept most ships:

Prince of Wales Dry Dock 1
Length: 204.5m
Breadth: 27.8m

Prince of Wales Dry Dock 2
Length: 170.7m
Breadth: 22.36m

In addition, vessels of up to 266m in length can be accommodated at the repair berth.

The normal water level in the King’s and Queen’s Docks is 10.5m, therefore capable of accommodating very large draft ships.

Contact Details:

Swansea Drydocks Ltd
Prince of Wales Drydocks

Tel: 01792 654592
Registration number: 6925673

Source: Swansea Dry Docks Website

City's cautious welcome for dry docks firm:

EASTSIDE politicians have welcomed the prospect of new jobs at the city's dry docks.

It comes after the Environment Agency said it was likely to award a permit to a ship breaking and repair company there.

But local councillors have also urged the agency to closely monitor the site at Phoenix Wharf when Swansea Drydocks begins operating, should a permit be issued.

St Thomas councillor Alan Robinson said: "Hopefully they (Swansea Drydocks) will fulfil the promises they are making.

"I wish them well, and I hope that they employ some local people and keep the place tidy. I am mindful we might get ships that no one else wants."

He said his only real concern was the site's proximity to a fertiliser storage plant. Swansea Drydocks has said any risk of explosion is considered to be insignificant and that fire breaks will be placed around combustible materials.

Fellow St Thomas councillor Mervyn Jones backed job creation but was not convinced a shipbreaking and repair yard was the best thing for the SA1 area.

"With the economic climate as it is any work is good — but at what cost?" he said. "As long as the Environment Agency keeps monitoring, that's fine."

An agency spokesman said: "We have given careful consideration to this application and we have drafted a permit which requires Swansea Drydocks to conform to the highest environmental standards and to operate in a way which will protect the community and environment."

The company has planning permission to use Phoenix Wharf. It said it was spending more than £1 million refurbishing the site and that ships for recycling would begin arriving as a permit had been obtained.

The long-term aim was to recruit and train a full-time workforce.

"The company aims to cover the full life cycle of a ship, from conducting surveys and ongoing repair and maintenance through to recycling," said a spokeswoman.

"We are committed to creating a world-class ship repair and recycling facility."

The firm's plans have caused some upset, though. Corinne McGill, of Port Tennant, said: "It's not good. We have got more than enough dirty industry in the docks."

Source: This is South Wales. By Richard Youle. (richard.youle@swwmedia.co.uk). 28 October 2011

Grant for NGO Platform on Shipbreaking:

The NGO Platform on Shipbreaking (Platform) is a global coalition of human rights, environmental and labour rights groups that work to expose and prevent the illegal export of end-of-life ships containing hazardous substances from western countries to scrapping yards in Asia. The NGO Platform also campaigns for the safe and environmentally sound disposal of such vessels.

Grant History:

SRT has supported the NGO Platform since 2007.
Current grant: £150,000 over 3 years
Grant start: 1st July 2010

Located in: Belgium
Working in: Bangladesh, Belgium, India, Turkey
Programme: Social Justice: Environmental Justice

Grant awarded by - Sigrid Rausing Trust, 12 Penzance Place, London, W11 4PA

Source: Sigrid Rausing Trust

Ensure healthy atmosphere at scrapyards: Bangladesh High Court

The High Court issued four directives on Thursday asking the government to ensure healthy atmosphere for workers and prevent loss of lives at shipbreaking yards.

In response to a writ petition, the court ordered the Department of Explosives to turn in gas free certificates it has issued in favour of 4 shipyards where 8 workers died while working.

The shipyards are –
  1. Fortune Shipyard,
  2. SRS Shipyard,
  3. RK Shipyard and
  4. Jiri Subedar Shipyard.
A two-judge panel asked the environment and forests ministry to submit a report on whether a high-powered technical sub-committee is being operated as per the court’s directives.

The judges ordered the director (enforcement) of the Department of Environment to submit a report identifying the causes behind the explosions in the four yards that killed and injured workers.

They directed the Chief Inspector (factory) to submit a report on whether the family members of the deceased workers received adequate compensation.

Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Jahangir Hossain came up with the directives following the petition by Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (Bela).

The bench however did not mention any specific time limit for complying with the directives.

Source: The Daily Star. 27 October 2011

NHST Events: TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum 2012

Time: March 12, 2012 12:00 CET - Mar 13, 2012 22:00 CET
Location: Singapore - venue TBA

Following 3 highly successful events in Dubai, the TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum moves to Singapore on March 12-13th, 2012.

Whether your priority is obtaining the best price for a ship or promoting green recycling - or both - this Forum provides you with the practical guidance and the right contacts to successfully navigate the commercial, regulatory and public relations minefield.

Source: My News Desk. 24 October 2011

29 October 2011

Shipbreaking spoiling environment in Gadani:

Shipbreaking with out safety measures at Gadani is hazardous to health and spoiling environment

Nasir Mansoor,Deputy General Secretary of National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) and Bashir Ahmed Mehmoodani, President of Ship Breaking Democratic Workers Union, Gadani have drew the attention of governmental environmental agency and other concern departments towards the deteriorating and alarming environmental situation which plying havocs with the lives of thousands of workers at Gadani Shipbreaking yards.

The ships and oil tankers which were anchored by the owners at Gadani beach for dismantling never heed to the demands of workers representatives to observe the safety measure for the protection of workers and environment and ecology of the area. The anti environment activities have been going on with out any consideration which become harm full for the health of workers and also for the population lives near by.

The trade union leaders stated that recently an "Oil Tanker" named "WENJIANG" has been dismantling at yard number 54 owned by M/S Seth A. Gafoor. The oil tanker is leaked and oil is spreading on the beach and nearly one kilometer of the radius has been covered with the dirty oil.

More than 500 workers are working on breaking the ship (oil tanker) and they all complained of severe skin allergies and acute respiratory problem due to widespread oil smell in the environment.

Nasir Mansoor and Bashir Mehmoodani demanded observance of international environmental protection standards and workers safety measures in shipbreaking sector in Gadani. They also demanded to stop the dismantling the oil tanker "Wenjiang" which emitted the hazardous oil in the sea water and to held inquiry on the issue in detail.

Nasir Mansoor
03003587211; www.ntufpak.org

Source: IMO Watch. 26 October 2011

By any measure 2011 has been a tumultuous year for shipping:

By any measure 2011 has been a tumultuous year for shipping. The Arab Spring uprisings are reorienting global geopolitics and bringing the issues of energy security and transport logistics into sharp focus. Meanwhile, the thorny matter of piracy continues to increase not only the financial burdens placed on ship owners and governments but also the amount of time spent considering steps to contain and minimise the threat.

However the impact of these developments on the maritime industry is marginal compared to that of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. The inability of EU policymakers to come up with a workable means of writing down Greek debt and recapitalising banks exposed to indebted governments has created volatility in the global equity markets, uncertainty in business circles and slowdowns in all the region’s economies.

Hit by rising levels of taxation, inflation and unemployment, European consumers are finding that their savings are earning “negative” real returns. Furthermore, the Eurozone crisis has become a global problem due to the EU’s pre-eminent status as a trading partner. The US and China, the International Monetary Fund's largest shareholders, have a vested interest in helping solve the crisis. All are agreed that the chosen solution must be one that also spurs economic growth, job creation and trade.

In the meantime, most shipping sectors are struggling and Europe’s quandary is not helping. Average container ship freight rates worldwide have plunged 70% since a 2010 peak. Fleet container-carrying capacity, already oversupplied, is set to rise by 30% over the 2011-2013 period as the newbuilding orderbook is delivered. At the same time growth in the demand for container ship space over this three-year stretch is not expected to exceed 18%. Fleet supply and demand are not due to be back in balance for at least five years.

Evidence of the extent to which shippers are benefiting from ship owner misfortunes is given by the fact that it now costs only USD 650 to ship a 20-foot container from Asia to Europe in contrast to USD 2,100 some 18 months ago.

The trickle-down effect will ensure that the owners of the smallest ships, i.e. those vessels of 1,000-2,000 TEU engaged in the coastal distribution trades, bear the brunt of this depressed container ship market. A large percentage of the current orderbook is comprised of ultra-large container ships of 10,000 TEU and above. On delivery these vessels will go into service on the major deepsea trade lanes, displacing mid-size ships in the process. The mid-size vessels, in turn, will move into the regional trades, providing stiff competition for the existing small ships on these routes.

In the face of continued fleet overcapacity and depressed freight rates, container ship owners are weighing up a range of contingency measures, including scrapping older tonnage. A significant amount of consolidation, especially in the small ship sector, seems unavoidable.

Although oil demand may be peaking and going into decline in the West, oil use in emerging markets is growing. This seismic shift in oil consumption, and the associated longer distances that oil generally has to travel to reach these developing nations, are supporting some additional demand for tanker shipping. However, they are not enough to absorb anything like the volume of newbuilding tonnage currently entering what has become a very depressed shipping market, especially at the very large crude carrier (VLCC) end of the spectrum. High oil prices, which are unlikely to decline significantly in future, also have a stultifying effect on trade volumes.

Tanker newbuildings will be filtering through in the years ahead at a robust rate. So far this year the overall crude oil and product tanker fleet has expanded by 5% while the rise in global movements of crude and refined products is barely reaching 2.5%.

There are currently 130 VLCCs on order and 570 such vessels in service. Delivery of the new tonnage, including over 50 this year, will maintain a downward pressure on rates which have slumped to record lows on the benchmark Middle East Gulf to Japan route in recent months. At various times this past summer returns have dipped below operating costs and fears have been expressed about the sustainability of the large tanker sector, especially as overall cargo volumes are not growing to any great extent.

Operators of bulk carriers find themselves in an overtonnaging predicament similar to that besetting the VLCC fleet. In fact the current bulk carrier orderbook relative to the in-service fleet is even greater than the tanker ratio. However what the dry bulk sector has going for it which tanker shipping does not is growing trade volumes. Having said that, if it wasn’t for healthy Chinese imports of iron ore, coal, nickel ore and ferrous scrap, the dry bulk sector would be in a much more parlous state.

The one segment of shipping that is bubbling at the moment is gas transport. After a two-year hiatus in which no new vessels were contracted, over 50 new LNG carriers have been ordered so far this year. The LNGC newbuildings will be added to the current 370-vessel fleet over the 2013-2015 period and the demand for gas is such that their entry into service is unlikely to adversely affect freight rates.

Charterers seeking LNGCs for spot cargo deliveries and short-term employment are now paying the going hire rate of USD 125,000 per day, a threefold increase on levels of a year ago. The ship supply/demand balance is currently so tight that these robust returns are likely to be sustained for at least the next two years and could well continue to climb.

The Japanese earthquake in March, another of the year’s traumatic events, has helped buoy LNG shipping. The closure of several of the country’s nuclear reactors and the temporary shutdown of others have boosted Japanese LNG imports by over 10% and the world trade in LNG by about 4%. However a number of other factors are at play, to the extent that Japan is likely to account for only one-third of the rise in global LNG trade volumes in 2011.

While Europe struggles to come up with a viable solution to its sovereign debt crisis, ship owners in the non-gas sectors are searching the horizon for positive signs. Trade growth and the willingness of the region’s trading partners to assist in a resolution of the problem will play a key role.

The US, with its relatively weak currency, is seeking to emulate Germany and boost exports in a drive to reinvigorate its own ailing economy. The country’s large volumes of newly discovered shale gas will undoubtedly help as will the import needs of the growing economies of Asia and Latin America’s developing nations.

China, sensitive to the negative impact of the European malaise on its own export volumes, still expects domestic growth to be maintained at the current annual level of 9% in 2012. Indebted nations, which are virtually all trade-deficit countries, would like to see China utilise some of its massive foreign exchange reserve holdings to boost imports of manufactured goods, thus giving them a chance to grow their economies and pay off their debts.

Ship owners stand poised to service the reinvigorated world trade that all parties desire.

Source: The Balkans. Sourced from BIMCO. 28 October 2011

Press Release: Environmental Permit for Swansea Dry Docks Limited

Swansea Drydocks (SDL) is delighted that the Environment Agency has advertised the draft permit and their decision document, which informs the public that the agency is minded to issue the company with an Environmental Permit.  Ships for recycling will begin arriving as soon as authorisation has been obtained by the Environment Agency.

Phase 1 of SDL’s £4m capital investment plan will soon be completed, including over £1m spent on infrastructure improvements that meet environmental best practice, and new machinery and equipment is on order.

The company intends to begin operations, including both ship recycling and ship repair work, in a systematic and controlled manner. To enhance its management team, SDL is currently interviewing technical managers with specific areas of expertise, and further jobs will be advertised on the new website www.swanseadrydocks.com, in the future. Whilst in the short term, many aspects of the work will be done in collaboration with highly experienced suppliers of ship repair and recycling services, the longer term aim is to recruit and train a full time, multi-skilled workforce and to handle most aspects of the work internally.

SDL has spent over two years gaining permissions and certificates, developing and implementing site plans, researching and selecting appropriate machinery and making contacts with potential suppliers and customers. Its’ vision remains constant – SDL is committed to creating a world class ship repair and recycling facility that conforms to European standards for quality, environment and health and safety. The company aims to cover the full life cycle of a ship, from conducting ship surveys and ongoing repair and maintenance, through to end of life ship recycling, and it aims to work in partnership with the people of Swansea and Wales to achieve this vision.

Source: Swansea Dry Docks. 26 October 2011

There she blows! Moment a 500-tonne barge is destroyed by explosives

This is the moment a massive 500-tonne, six-storey barge ship went BOOM after it was blown up by explosives.

The enormous barge ship named Margaret was destroyed in Jacobs Bay, 120km north of Cape Town, South Africa.

BOOM: The barge Margaret blown up after being stranded on the South African coast for six months

The 100 metre-long vessel - which had been en-route from China to the Netherlands - was deemed unsalvageable after it ran aground in winter storms.

On board, its huge cargo of two dry docks - massive maintenance bays for ships - and 12 river barges were also unable to be recovered and so the decision was taken to destroy everything.

Smoke on the water: A massive amount of explosives is detonated inside the stricken vessel

After a team appointed by the owners spent 6 months unsuccessfully attempting to remove the wreck from the rocks, all salvage efforts were abandoned.

The wreck then became the responsibility of the South African Maritime Safety Authority.

The enormous demolition task depended on using a massive two-and-a-half tonnes of explosives to bring the wreck crashing down like a pack of cards.

Explosive sight: The stranded barge smashes apart as the full blast rips through the superstructure

Amazingly, 6 of the barges on board were successfully released into the water during the operation and towed to the port of Saldanha, a few miles away.

Amateur photographer and marine salvage worker Glenn Kasner caught the whole amazing spectacle on camera.

Mr Kasner, 52, from South Africa, said: 'Various options were considered and it was eventually decided that the best method would be to release as many of the barges as possible by toppling the stack by means of controlled explosions.

Now you see it, now you don't: The aftermath of the explosion & the barge is completely destroyed

'A naval architect - assisted by an explosives expert - carefully calculated exactly the quantity of explosives required and where these 'shaped charges' should be placed in order to achieve the desired effect.

'Preparations for the blast included boarding up the windows on all the houses in close proximity to the site and evacuating the residents to safe viewing sites,' said Mr Kasner.

'We watched it from about a kilometre away, it was softer than expected and sounded much like someone firing a machine gun as the individual detonations were milliseconds apart.

He explained: 'The reason for this was to prevent damage to the nearby houses - some as close as 200m - from the huge shock wave.'
But the operation was deemed a success. 'In fact, not a single window pane was broken during the operation,' Mr Kasner said.

Source: The Daily Mail. 28 October 2011

New recycling center accepts practically everything:

SAN ANTONIO – We’ve had a recycling program for several years now, but there are a lot of things the recycling trucks won't take. What do you do with that old computer, television or foam packaging?

Now there’s a place that will recycle virtually everything, for free.

In a nondescript warehouse off I-35 near Splashtown, they've constructed a 100,000 square foot, one stop recycling center, where soon you'll be able to drop off things they won't take at the curb. Even styrofoam and electronics.

Inside they're still installing carpet, made from recycled plastic bottles. But the rest of the operation is up and running. A company called Logistix is already processing loads from local communities and trash haulers and will open to the public next month.

“We're looking to fill those niches that other recyclers think are either too difficult, or there’s not enough money to be made. We do it all,” says Logistix recycling director Zach Walter.

Walter gave us a tour of the plant and showed us a machine that recycles Styrofoam -- which is kind of like the kryptonite of recycling. Most processors won't touch it.

“We ship it to manufacturers that make picture frames and crown molding and other wood type products.” says Walter.

Local military bases are already sending classified documents here to be shredded and turned into tissue paper. Instead of slicing the pages into thin strips, their shredder grinds them to tiny bits, which is more secure.

Like other recyclers, Logistix takes in and sorts paper, cardboard, plastic containers of all kinds, including prescription medication bottles and metal.

They also have a shop where they disassemble and recycle just about anything that can be plugged in -- which will come as welcome news to anyone who has tried to recycle a TV or computer. Like Nancy Horne, who couldn't find anyone to take her 42-inch big screen.

“I thought, ‘How am I going to get rid of it?’ It sat in my living room for months because I couldn't get rid of it,” Horne told us.

Logistix says it will accept electronics, recyclables and paper for shredding from the public free of charge, and in some cases pay for it.

“We are going to have a drop off area that they will be able to come in and drop off their material,” says Walter.

Source: By Jaie Avila (JaieAvila@woaitv.com). 28 October 2011

28 October 2011

Consultation to start on nuclear sub dismantling:

Seven disused submarines are stored at Babcock's Rosyth dockyard in Fife
A public consultation on the dismantling of the UK's retired nuclear submarines is set to get under way.

Rosyth in Fife and Devonport in Plymouth are the two preferred sites being considered as locations for removing the radioactive material from the vessels.

The consultation, which gets under way on Friday, will look at how and where this process will be carried out.

It will also consider where the waste should be stored initially.

Babcock's Rosyth dockyard is currently home to seven nuclear submarines, while a further 10 are stored at Devonport.

The storage of submarines at Rosyth currently supports about 100 jobs, though safety concerns are being expressed locally about what will happen to the submarines' nuclear fuel.

Rear Admiral Simon Lister, of the MoD's Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said the cost to the taxpayer of maintaining the submarines was "rising significantly" and space to store them was running out.

"Developing a solution now, rather than leaving future generations to do so, is the responsible course of action," he said.

"There is no reason to believe there will be any increased health risk from submarine dismantling activities.

"Submarine dismantling, like all nuclear work, will be robustly regulated to stringent standards by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the environment agencies."

He added: "We are keen to hear the views of as many people as possible during this public consultation, to help us make the right decisions about how to dispose of our nuclear submarines."

The consultation is due to run for 16 weeks.

It will include a series of local events which will take place in Plymouth, Torpoint, Saltash, Rosyth, Dunfermline and Edinburgh, as well as national events in Birmingham and Glasgow.

Source: BBC. 27 October 2011

Shipbreaking Workers: HC asks for ensuring safety

The High Court yesterday issued 4 directives on the government to ensure safety of ship breaking workers against the backdrop of recent accidents that killed 8 workers.

In response to a writ petition, the court asked the environment and forest ministry to submit a report on whether a high-powered technical sub-committee is operating as per the court's directives, the terms and conditions mentioned in the environmental clearance certificate are being met and the condition of the country's ship-breaking yards is safe for workers.

The bench ordered the Department of Explosives to submit the gas-free certificates it issued in favour of Fortune Shipyard, SRS Shipyard, RK Shipyard and Jiri Subedar Shipyard.

The 8 workers of these companies died between September 17 and October 16 in Chittagong.

The court directed the director (enforcement) of the Department of Environment to file a report identifying the causes behind the recent explosions.

It also ordered the Chief Inspector (factory) of the Department of Explosives to submit a report on whether the family members of the dead workers received adequate compensation and the injured received required costs for treatment.

The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Jahangir Hossain came up with the directives following the petition filed by Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (Bela).

The bench however did not mention any time limit for complying with its directives.

The organisation moved the petition seeking HC directives on the government to take necessary steps to ensure healthy environment for workers and prevent loss of lives at the shipbreaking yards.

Earlier on June 25, 2009 the HC spelled series of measures for safety of the workers and protection of the environment. It also ordered not to import any toxic ship within the territory of Bangladesh and to submit a pre-cleaning certificate before importing any ship for dismantling.

Following a petition filed by Bangladesh Ship Breakers' Association (BSBA), the HC on July 21 extended till October 12 its order allowing conditional import and dismantling of toxic ships, mentioning the importers and shipbreakers must ensure workers' and environmental safety.

The HC bench yesterday said it will not extend further its order permitting import of toxic ship.

Meanwhile, Bela in a release yesterday said there is no scope to import any toxic ship for dismantling in the country, since the HC order in this connection has already expired.

Bela's counsel Iqbal Kabir Lytton told The Daily Star that BSBA has further filed a petition on October 16 seeking six months' extension of its July 21 order.

The HC will hear the extension petition after its Eid-ul Azha vacation, he added.

Deputy Attorney General ABM Altaf Hossain represented the government.

Source: The Daily Star. 28 October 2011