Hamburg, Germany based ship recycling company, Germanischer Lloyd (GL) is to work with the China National Ship Recycling Association (CNSA) to promote 'green' ship recycling in China.
According to the company it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate with the CNSA on developing training programmes, pilot projects, and research practices that will allow the Chinese ship recycling industry to comply with incoming international regulations, in advance of their entry into force dates.
The MOU was signed at the Workshop on the "Early Implementation of the Technical Standards of the Hong Kong Convention in China", held in Beijing.
The "Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009" adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), is expected to come into force in 2015.
Its aim is to minimise, in the most effective, efficient and sustainable way, the environmental and occupational health risks of ship recycling.
The convention will require that ship recycling facilities are authorised to deal with the material generated from recycling in a manner that is both environmentally responsible and protects the health of workers.
This includes making sure that workers are trained to deal with hazardous materials appropriately and that they have access to and are trained in the use of the protective equipment required for its disposal.
Hazardous material must be kept separate from recyclables and transferred to a disposal facility which itself meets the requirements of the Convention.
In addition, recycling facilities must prepare a Ship Recycling Facility Plan, a set of management systems and procedures which are designed, among other things, to protect workers and the environment, prevent accidents and spills, and monitor and report on recycling activities and adverse incidents.
According to GL, China is currently one of the three largest ship recycling countries, with a rapidly growing share of the global market.
In 2005 China implemented regulations to bring its industry into line with international regulations and promote environmentally responsive technology and practices in 'greener' ship recycling.
GL explained that training will be one of the keys to preparing ship recycling yards to operate in a stricter environmental climate.
Under the MOU GL and CNSA will work to develop a programme which familiarises both management and workers at the yards with the incoming regulations and the requirements they face to meet these standards.
The European Commission has recently proposed new regulations based on the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention that would require European ships to be recycled in facilities deemed to be safe for workers and environmentally sound.
Under the new rules ship recycling facilities would have to meet a set of environmental and safety requirements in order to be included on a list of authorised facilities world wide.
European ships will be allowed to be recycled only in facilities on the list. Some of the requirements to be met by the ship recycling facilities are stricter than those of the Hong Kong Convention.
Source: Waste Management World. 6 June 2012http://www.waste-management-world.com/index/display/article-display/3450098909/articles/waste-management-world/recycling/2012/06/China_to_Improve_Ship_Recycling_Standards.html