06 May 2013

Feasibility study on alternatives to the traditional beaching method of ship recycling:

Châtelaine, Switzerland -- Parties to the Basel Convention have requested the Secretariat to develop implementation programmes for sustainable ship recycling, where possible in collaboration with other organizations such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The parties have recognised that ship recycling States and the facilities within their jurisdiction may require assistance in implementing the requirements of an international regime pertaining to ship recycling. The Secretariat thus seeks to assist those Parties with ship recycling industries in applying these controls through technical capacity building activities.

To this end, the Secretariat developed the Global Programme for Sustainable Ship Recycling in 2007 to encourage collaboration between organizations, in particular with IMO and ILO, in facilitating improvements in worker health and safety and environmental conditions in ship recycling countries. In 2009, the Secretariat developed a concept for a Ship Recycling Technology & Knowledge Transfer Workshop to strengthen the regulatory, institutional, procedural and infrastructural capacity of Pakistan’s Government and industry to fulfill the relevant aspects of the Basel Convention in relation to ship recycling, particularly those dealing with the downstream management of hazardous and other wastes, and the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.

Feasibility study

Now, a feasibility study was finalized in April 2013 to identify cost-effective, environmentally sound alternatives to the traditional beaching method of ship recycling.

The following activities will form part of the study:

* a review of current ship recycling methods and identification of cost effective, environmentally sound alternatives to beaching. This work included consultations with those ship recycling facilities employing environmentally sound alternatives and with shipowners who utilise such facilities;
* a field mission to facilities employing alternative methods of ship recycling to establish the parameters (operational, infrastructural) of such methods; and
* development of a feasibility report providing: models of alternative environmentally sound ship recycling operations; identification of potential parties/industry partners and sites for the establishment of such facilities; and a costing estimate for the establishment and operation of such facilities.
This project was funded through a grant received from the European Commission.

Establishing suitable downstream infrastructure

This capacity building activity will focus on the development of downstream hazardous waste management capacity in ship recycling countries. While incremental steps are being taken to improve environmental and worker health and safety standards in the industry, particularly at the recycling facilities themselves, the ship recycling process cannot be environmentally sound unless suitable downstream infrastructure for the hazardous and other waste arising from ship recycling is established. For this reason, this activity shall focus on the development of inventories of hazardous waste in two pilot countries (Bangladesh and Pakistan) in the regions where ship recycling takes place. Following the development of the inventories, business cases will be developed to assist government and industry to establish the requisite infrastructure. These will be replicable in other regions/countries.

This project, which is designed to complement capacity building activities to be undertaken by both IMO and UNIDO in South Asia, will be completed by the end of 2013. The European Commission has provided the funding for this project.

Source: recycling portal.

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