08 November 2011

Marina eyes development of ship recycling:

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is considering the development of ship recycling as a domestic industry to open up new business opportunities for shipbuilding and sale of recyclables.

Daniel Reyes, Marina Shipyard Regulations officer-in-charge, said the agency needs to formulate the necessary policy on ship recycling because of its environmental impact.

"If there are investors interested to put up ship recycling, proper policy must be put in place. The governments of India and Bangladesh are getting very strict, so the global maritime stakeholders see potential to put up ship recycling in the Philippines," he said.

The ship recycling and shipbreaking industries as well as shipbuilding complement each other. All the parts of the vessels such as steel plates, machinery are recyclable and can be ready spare parts for the shipbuilding industry.

Also, ship recycling will generate jobs for people similar to those employed in shipyards, such as cutters.

According to the Basel Convention, the ships contain highly toxic materials, including asbestos, PCBs, heavy metals and oils and fuels, the dangers of which are not always understood by the workforce. This results in limited precautions being employed to protect worker health and the environment.

The concerns over standards in the industry are compounded by the impending phase-out of single-hulled tankers, which will result in thousands more ships requiring recycling over the next 10 years.

The majority of these vessels will find their way to the beaches of South Asia.

The Hong Kong international Convention on the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009 needs ratification. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) needs about 30 member states to ratify the convention.

IMO representatives are in Manila to give assistance to the Philippines by setting the guidelines on how to implement ship recycling.

Marina has set a workshop with IMO experts on November 8-10, on the growth of the ship recycling industry based on compliance with international safety and environment standards.

"This is needed for the protection of the marine environment because there are hazardous wastes. Through this, we will be able to know how to handle it," said Reyes.

After the workshop, Marina will create the roadmap to ratification and the eventual implementation targeted by the third or fourth quarter next year.

The IMO expects Philippine ratification of the international convention by 2012. The ratification needs approval by the Senate and concurrence of the Office of the President.

Marina will be working on the prevention of incidents involving worker injury and fatality as well as reducing the negative impacts of ship recycling activity on the environment.

The convention recommends the promotion of a sustainable ship recycling industry by enhancing the application of internationally recognized standards relating to occupational safety and health (OSH) and environmental protection.

With this, Marina can also fully implement the retirement of old vessels.

Vessels more than 35 years old, unless classed by the classification society, must be retired, Nicasio Conti, Marina deputy administrator for planning.

Of the total 11,942 vessels registered with Marina, 512 are aged 36-40 while 479 are above 40 years old.

Source: Malaya Business Insight. By Genivi Factao. 7 November 2011

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