27 March 2014

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh ship breaking industry for WEEK 12 of 2014:

The demand for lower LDT units persisted into this week as another couple of sales of handysize bulkers were concluded.

The G Bulk controlled ARIADNE (7,198 LDT) fetched an incredible USD 475/LT LDT from an unknown cash buyer (always a risky business with new and obscure names with no track record on performance). The suspicion is that the concerned cash buyer may look to trade the vessel with one or two cargoes as this price does not seem obtainable at all in today’s market.

The HONG KONG PEARL (7,320 LDT) was sold for a far more reasonable USD 450/LT LDT with a USD 10 per LT LDT premium due for the 250-300 T bunkers that the vessel will deliver with.

For the time being, it appears Bangladeshi buyers (like in India) are focusing on smaller LDT vessels and are paying a premium for the same. Many of the larger LDT buyers have already booked and beached vessels this year and will need another cycle before they come back aggressively into the game. Topping things off is the shortage in supply of larger LDT vessels (other than on containers) at present as well.

Source: steel guru. 25 March 2014

GMS weekly report on Indian ship breaking industry for WEEK 12 of 2014:

The container standoff between cash buyers and end buyers continued for another week something that saw several panamax sized units sold to Pakistan buyers in an unprecedented move.

Time will tell whether Gadani buyers come to value containers as highly as tankers in India and Bangladesh, despite the draft issues they have long complained about.

Most cash buyers who acquired containers at huge levels in the past month or so look set to lose money on these speculative purchases, as the local market has simply not been able to support the levels being asked for.

Overall, the currency has steadied into the INR 61 range against the US Dollar and steel prices, despite frequent daily fluctuations, are not causing too much concern at present.

Indeed, demand remains healthy locally particularly for smaller LDT units between 5 and 12,000 LDT (due to lower cutting time required and a generally larger number of yards with LC limits available to negotiate tonnages in this size range).

Two units of interest were sold this week the Naftomar controlled smaller LPG GAZ SYMPHONY (4,756 LDT) fetched an impressive USD 468 per LT LDT ‘as is’ Fujairah with 500 T bunkers remaining on board and the Nanjing Kingship tween, KING HERO (7,116 LDT) achieved USD 455 per LT LDT for a forward end May delivery.

Source: steel guru. 25 March 2014

GMS weekly report on Pakistan ship breaking industry for WEEK 12 of 2014:

Improving demand and levels in Pakistan saw local buyers pick up a number of their favored larger LDT units from existing cash buyer inventories remarkably including several of those hard to sell panamax sized containers.

This could be a breakthrough moment for Gadani buyers who previously rejected containers on the grounds of draft issues that affect an effective beaching. With India and Bangladesh overall paying the same levels for containers as for tankers (due to the quality and lower wastage of the steel and comparatively larger sized propellers enhancing their resale values), this could give owners more options and greater competition on prices for any incoming vessels.

However, the market sales for the week took place between India and Bangladesh with only less fancied (in Pakistan) lower LDT tonnage being concluded this week.

Source: steel guru. 25 March 2014

GMS weekly report on China ship breaking industry for WEEK 12 of 2014:

Sales between state owners and local yards continued to rack up with news of a 19,000 LDT TBN Cosco container having been sold for region USD 326 per LT LDT into South China.

Even though the gap between Indian sub continent prices and China stands around the USD 150 per LT LDT mark other south Asian recycling facilities in Vietnam and Indonesia (capable of only really taking smaller vessels) would also be competitive with China levels today.

Other Chinese private owners are also looking at actively reflagging their vessels even though the process is cumbersome in order to qualify for the state subsidies on scrap vessels and corresponding new-buildings.

Source: steel guru. 25 March 2014

GMS weekly report on Turkey ship breaking industry for WEEK 12

Yet another dry week has gone by with minimal recycling activity followed by an expected minimal inflow of vessel’s locally. Local prices have improved marginally this week, which hopefully will attract some interest.

From the currency perspective, the TRY depreciated slightly against the USD from TRL 2.218 to TRL 2.232 by COB Friday. End buyers are becoming eager to purchase units as they need to keep their yards operating. And with the low supply of vessels on show, some may be more aggressive by taking slightly more risk to try and secure tonnage their way.

Source: steel guru. 25 March 2014

China's ship breakers face another year of losses, says industry body

China's ship-breaking industry appears likely to repeat last year's financial losses in 2014 amid government plans to cap steel output, limited ferrous scrap demand, high purchase prices for obsolete vessels and a steady decline in domestic scrap prices, the China National Ship-recycling Association, or CANSI, told Platts Tuesday.

With the ship-breaking sector dependent on the downstream scrap market, the ongoing fall in China's domestic scrap prices will continue to spell trouble, industry experts said.

CANSI member companies were holding a high inventory of around 500,000 mt of unsold ferrous scrap at end 2013, an association official said. This suggested breakers were struggling and would likely face another difficult year unless scrap buying picked up, he added.

Domestic prices of heavy scrap over 6 mm have dropped sharply in recent months, to be assessed last Friday at Yuan 2,320/mt with VAT delivered to Zhangjiagang city in Jiangsu province, down from Yuan 2,500/mt at the end December. Ship-breaking scrap with thickness over 6 mm is typically Yuan 100-200/mt higher than standard heavy scrap of the same dimensions.

Stricter environmental standards have also raised costs for domestic ship breakers, threatening China's competitiveness against other major ship breakers such as India and Bangladesh, they added.

The issue was raised at the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in early March, where Hu Keyi, a committee member and deputy general manager of Jiangnan Shipyard, called for ship breakers to benefit from ship-breaking subsidies as well as ship owners.

The Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Finance, National Development and Reform commission and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly announced subsidies of Yuan 1,500/gross ton for old transport ships and single-hulled tankers that were broken up, which are paid to the previous owner of the ship.

Ship-breaking volumes should be boosted in 2014 by a sluggish global shipping market and the introduction of stricter international maritime rules, a ship breaker source in Zhejiang province said.

Around 45 million deadweight tons of obsolete vessels will be broken down globally in 2014, according to a forecast by China Securities.

Source: Platts. 25 March 2014

China shipbreakers face difficult year ahead

China's shipbreaking sector is expected to face a difficult year ahead as the country's domestic scrap prices continue to fall, reports said.

Factors that would contribute to potential losses for the shipbreaking industry in 2014 include government plans to limit steel output, lower ferrous scrap demand, high purchase prices for unwanted vessels and a steady decline in scrap prices, the China National Shiprecycling Association told Platts.

The association said its member companies have a high inventory of around 500,000 tonnes of unsold ferrous scrap at the end of 2013, suggesting that shipbreakers were struggling to find demand from the market.

China's stricter environmental standards have also raised costs for domestic shipbreakers, making China less competitive against other major ship demolition markets of Bangladesh and India, the association was reported as saying.

China's ministry of transport had announced in December last year a policy that will offer subsidies of RMB1,500 ($247) per gross tonne to shipping companies that scrap their vessels before their operational expiry dates.

The subsidies would be given in two tranches – one upon the completion of the vessel demolition and another after the construction of the new replacement vessel.

Source: sea trade global. 27 March 2014

Ship-breaking hurts Bangladesh’s fragile coasts:

Speed read
  • ·  Bangladesh’s ship-breaking industry is damaging the fragile ecology of its coastline
  • ·  Waste oil and toxic materials have destroyed mangrove forests and affected marine life
  • ·  Bangladesh risks losing out on the ship-breaking industry unless it tightens regulation

Bangladesh needs to tighten regulation over its booming ship-breaking industry and bring it in line with international laws and environment standards, says a new study.

The industry, according to the study due to be published in the July 2014 issue of Marine Policy, is expanding dramatically at the cost of the environment. In the Sitakunda area, where most of the ship-breaking yards are located, mangrove forests have vanished, according to one of the authors, Abdullah Faruque, professor law at the Chittagong University.

“Sitakunda’s trees have been cut down to make way for the ship-breaking industry,” says Mohd. Abdul Matin, general secretary of the Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan, a prominent environmental non-government organisation. “New trees don’t grow there because the soil is highly contaminated with toxic chemicals,” he tells SciDev.Net.

"On top of this irreparable damage, we also face massive loss of marine life,” says Matin. “Fish are often seen floating up dead in the surrounding sea, and fresh water around the coastal areas of Sitakunda contains many toxic chemicals."

Formalised in 2006, the industry had by 2012 allowed Bangladesh to recover an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of steel. At the same time, according to the study, thousands of tonnes of toxic substances such as asbestos, lead, waste oil and other chemicals were discharged into the soil and sea.

Faruque says that changes in laws are necessary to ensure that the ship-breaking industry continues to provide the country with valuable steel, but without destroying its coastline and its valuable natural assets. Failure to amend the laws, he says, could result in the countries of origin turning to other destinations for the scrapping and disposal of their end-of-life ships.

“The aim of our evaluation was to demonstrate that Bangladeshi laws could be incorporated into the core of the international regulatory instruments to minimise the environmental damage caused by this industry,” Faruque tells SciDev.Net.

“While the global operation of ship-breaking is regulated by a number of international instruments, Bangladesh has neither incorporated any of them nor developed comprehensive domestic legislation to address these concerns,” Faruque says.

Syeda Rizwana Hasan, executive director of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, says, “It’s very unfortunate that even after restrictive rulings by the highest court of the country the deadly industry continues to expand. There appears to be no political will to bring the industry to order.”

Source: Sci Dev Net

14 March 2014

Krepp Comments on GSA Storis Auction:

Denise Rucker Krepp, former Maritime Administration Chief Counsel who currently advocates on behalf of the U.S. domestic ship recycling industry, issued a statement at the Coast Guard Shipping Coordinating Committee Meeting March 12, 2014, in Preparation for the April 2014 Maritime Environment Protection Committee Meeting. Below are her comments.

Good morning. My name is Denise Krepp and I am representing EMR-Southern Recycling.

As I mentioned last year, EMR-Southern Recycling is the premier metal recycling operation in the U.S. Gulf Coast region and the largest volume marine ferrous producer in the United States. The company was established in 1900 and currently employs over 600 individuals in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. These hard working, highly skilled men and women, many of whom spend their entire careers with the company, earn good salaries with benefit packages including health insurance and a company 401k match. Other domestic competitors to EMR’s marine ferrous operations, which include SIMs Metals ESCO facility and Scrap Metal Services All-Star facility, directly and indirectly employ several thousand more.

At last year's public meeting, I asked for assistance from the U.S. government. I requested a meeting with the Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, Maritime Administration (MARAD), and State Department officials and other ship scrapping company representatives to discuss the U.S. government's position on the Hong Kong Ship Recycling Convention. EMR-Southern Recycling wanted to learn whether or not the U.S. government supported this treaty and how the government was going to implement it domestically. The Administration was non-responsive.

In addition, I stated at last year's public meeting that EMR-Southern Recycling wanted to work with the U.S. government to ensure that U.S. built ships are recycled in the United States instead of being reflagged for foreign dismantlement. Foreign recycling facilities are not held to the same high and necessary standards as those in the United States. Our ships should be taken apart in the same careful and protected manner as when they were put together.

The Administration declined Southern Recycling's offer. Instead, the Administration allowed the General Services Administration (GSA) to auction on June 27, 2013, the historic Coast Guard cutter Storis, which had been laid up at the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet (SBRF). The winning bid was little over $70,000 and GSA approved this bid even though it was less than the reserve price. (See http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucdsclnk?sl=41QSCI13425001)

After winning the auction, the new buyer tried to resell the Storis for $250,000 to national preservationists while the vessel sat for months in the SBRF. (See http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_24432274/will-historic-coast-guard-ship-escape-scrap-heap). When the national preservationists refused to pay the buyer's exorbitant asking price, the buyer sent the Storis to Mexico to be scrapped.

The scrapping of the Storis in Mexico violates Section 3502 of the 2009 Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act which requires all U.S. government vessels to be scrapped at U.S. metal recycling facilities. (See http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-110publ417/pdf/PLAW-110publ417.pdf). The GSA sale also violates 40 U.S.C. 548 which mandates that MARAD be responsible for disposing of vessels greater than 1500 gross tons. (See http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title40/pdf/USCODE-2011-title40-subtitleI-chap5-subchapIII-sec548.pdf). The Storis was over 2000 gross tons and it should have been auctioned off by MARAD to domestic ship recyclers.

Several individuals have FOIAed the government for information on the Storis' debacle, as well as copies of Memorandums MARAD has with the Coast Guard, Navy, GSA, and other federal agencies concerning the disposal of obsolete vessels. GSA charged one individual almost $10,000 for the GSA files on the Storis auction. MARAD charged another individual over $400 for a five-page 1998 Inter-Agency memorandum that is publicly posted on the web. According to the government, it wasn't in the U.S. taxpayer's interest to release this information for free. Both charges have been appealed.

At last year's meeting I also requested that the Coast Guard publish meeting notes associated with all IMO Shipping Coordinating Committee meetings on its website. I posited that publishing the meeting notes would help improve the transparency of the process. The Coast Guard didn't publish the meeting notes and there is no reference to my earlier comments on the Coast Guard website.

The Coast Guard's refusal to publish the meeting notes on its website violates the President's 2009 and 2014 good government directives. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment and http://m.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/open_gov_plan_guidance_memo_final.pdf). In these documents, the President directs agencies to detail plans by which they are proactively disclosing information to advance transparency, accountability, and the presumption of openess. Refusing to publish meeting notes impedes transparency and creates the perception that the government has something to hide.

The lack of transparency is further compounded by the U.S. government's refusal to communicate with U.S. metal recycling companies on IMO related matters. EMR-Southern Recycling had repeatedly notified the U.S. government over the past year that it wanted to provide input on implementation of the Hong Kong Convention. The U.S. government never responded to EMR-Southern Recycling's request. Instead, the U.S. government communicated solely with foreign governments leaving U.S. companies completely in the dark.

The U.S. government isn't looking out for the interests of the U.S. industry – it's trying to bypass the domestic recycling and steel production industry and scrap vessels abroad. The White House website continues to reference a plan which the MARAD Ship Disposal Program developed in 2006. See http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/expectmore/detail/10004010.2006.html.

According to the MARAD, “(t)he ship disposal program must balance concerns about safety and environment, a growing inventory of aging vessels, and the lack of suitable ship recycling facilities.” (See http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/Ship_Disposal.pdf) These claims are false. The U.S. ship recycling industry is the safest and most environmentally rigorous in the world. There are currently five qualified companies and at least 11 qualified slips at the disposal of the federal government agencies; and there are new facilities awaiting qualification. These facilities should be fully utilized instead of being ignored.

Therefore, I ask again that the U.S. Executive Branch agencies meet with the domestic ship recycling industry to discuss domestic implementation of the Hong Kong Convention. I also request that the U.S. government work with the domestic ship recycling industry to prevent U.S. vessels from being scrapped in foreign facilities that are not held to the same standards as their U.S. counterparts. Lastly, I ask that the U.S. government publish the meeting notes for all IMO Shipping Coordinating Committee meetings on its website.

I am making these requests on behalf of EMR-Southern Recycling's over 600 employees. These taxpayers provide a valuable service to the U.S. government. Their efforts should be supported not undercut by those who would rather ship their jobs overseas.

About the Speaker: Krepp began her career as an active duty Coast Guard officer in 1998. After September 11, 2001, Krepp helped create the Transportation Security Administration. She also served as Senior Counsel on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee. Krepp is a professor at Pennsylvania State University, a member of the Board of Directors for The Infrastructure Security Partnership, and a commentator on Backroom Politics, a weekly radio show.

Source: marine link. 12 March 2014

13 March 2014

Two Alang labourers crushed:

RAJKOT: Two labourers died at Alang shipbreaking yard in Bhavnagar on Tuesday after an iron plate fell on them. The accident took place at plot number 20 that is owned by Amit Sheth. The deceased have been identified as Vishwanath Gaud (20) and Bensu Pradhan Odiya (24) of Orissa.

Sources said that an iron plate fell on them and crushed them while they were working. They were rushed to a hospital in Bhavnagar, where they succumbed to their injuries.

Earlier in December last year, a worker Shambhuram Rajvanshi from Uttar Pradesh had died after an iron plate fell on him at plot number two of the shipbreaking yard.

Sources said accidents of falling of iron plates on labourers occur frequently at Alang, which is Asia's biggest shipbreaking yard.

In March 2013, one worker died and five others were injured after an iron object fell on them while working at plot number 73 of the breaking yard.

Source: times of india. 13 March 2014

12 March 2014

GMS weekly report on Pakistan shipbreaking industry for WEEK 10 of 2014:

As the Pakistan market stormed back to the forefront of the recycling scene on larger vessels such as capesize bulkers and VLCCs, news of another interesting sale emerged this week.

It appears Singapore based Chinese owners Southernpec may have sold another of their storage VLCCs, the SOUTHERNPEC 8 (33,182 LDT), for recycling to Pakistan this week for a reported USD 450 per LT LDT NETT price. This follows the sale of the sister vessel SOUTHERNPEC 5, also sold to Gadani last year.

At the same time, rumors were rife in Singapore of the SOUTHERNPEC 3 (33,129 LDT) may have also been committed, perhaps enbloc at the same level, although these reports are unconfirmed at the time of writing.

Pakistan remains the ‘go to’ market for larger VLs (gas free for man entry only) and larger capesize bulkers (following the sale of the Polembros controlled NAXOS WARRIOR and Winning ship WINNING PRIDE in the previous few weeks) at levels above what the traditional big hitters in Bangladesh are willing to pay at the moment.

Source: steel guru. 12 March 2014

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh ship breaking industry for WEEK 10 of 2014:

A small spike in steel prices (by around USD 5 per LT LDT) saw few Bangladeshi buyers with free plots jump back into the buying with renewed optimism.

Some impressive numbers were therefore seen on small to mid-range units ranging from 5 to 12,000 LDT with several buyers even emerging for some of the smaller LDT general cargo units on offer (thus drawing them away from Far East demo markets such as China).

Having seen much of the tonnage in recent weeks evade their clutches, it was perhaps only natural to see Bangladeshi buyers emerge once again with perhaps the only surprise being the absence of the larger tonnage buyers in favor of the usually less fashionable lower LDT units.

Consequently, the TBS controlled handymax bulker ALABAMA BELLE (8,178 LDT) achieved an extraordinary USD 481 per LT LDT (less comms). The USA ownership, good cargoes, and almost 500 T bunkers remaining on board upon delivery were responsible for the impressive price on show.

Source: steel guru. 12 March 2014

GMS weekly report on China ship breaking industry for WEEK 10 of 2014:

China prices remained some way stranded behind their Indian sub continent competitors by as much as USD 150 per LT LDT, as the local market once again struggled to compete.

Even smaller general cargo vessels were being mooted for a voyage over to India Bangladesh range such was the gulf in levels between the markets. State subsidized vessels continue to fill yards however, all on a private basis done directly between recycling yards and owners. This is something that has kept prices artificially low as end buyers remain well stocked with vessels cheaper than the international standard due to the high government premium state owners receive on their Chinese flagged tonnage.

Source: steel guru. 12 March 2014

GMS weekly report on Turkey ship breaking industry for WEEK 10 of 2014:

A slight improvement in local steel plate prices of about USD 5 per tonnes was marked last week in Turkey. Additionally, the TRY too closed the week at 2.20 against the US.

Dollar, a marginal improvement that was simply not enough to make a marked impact on the local market.

Meanwhile, open yard capacity is growing and yet with another week of limited inflow of vessels, the appetite of end breakers is not being fulfilled with the relatively low acquisitions by local recyclers.

Source: steel guru. 12 March 2014

Singapore ship owners issued with beaching plea:

Global: The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has called on Singapore-based vessel owners to stop selling their old ships to beach-breaking yards in developing countries.
'It is now time for South East Asian ship owners to join the front-runners of the maritime industry mainly based in Europe and say ''no'' to a practice that is harming the environment and people,' the NGO's executive director Patrizia Heidegger told the recent TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum held in Singapore.

According to the Platform, shipbreaking as practised today on the beaches of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan leads to pollution of coastal ecosystems while exposing workers to danger. In a list published in February, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform claims that the vast majority of the 39 Singapore-owned ships sent for dismantling last year were destined for the South Asian beach-breaking yards: 17 to India, nine to Bangladesh and five to Pakistan.

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform notes that the European ship owners to have adopted an anti-beaching stance include Dutch firm Boskalis, as well as Norwegian companies Grieg Shipping, Wilhelmsen and Höegh Autoliners.

In North America, Canadian Steamship Lines will no longer beach any of its ships, and international oil and gas companies are choosing cleaner and safer recycling for their tankers, the NGO adds.

Source: recycling international. 11 March 2014

GMS weekly report on Indian ship breaking industry for WEEK 10 of 2014:

A large delegation of Indian recyclers arrived in Singapore this week, to attend the Tradewinds Ship recycling conference. Amongst other issues discussed was the controversy surrounding the potential beaching ban for European flagged vessels an issue that solicited much fierce debate from speakers, panelists, and the floor alike.

The current hot market discussions however concern the imminent arrival of, as many as 15 panamax sized containers yet to be sold to Indian buyers. There remains a disconnect between cash buyer asking levels and realities on the ground, with many end buyers seemingly unwilling to budge from given levels, owing to the oversupply of arriving vessels (with more still set to come) from this particular segment.

Many cash buyers are playing a risky game with most units still unsold and set to arrive imminently. Once the vessels are sighted off Alang, this is a surefire sign for end buyers to try and exploit the situation by offering ever lower numbers to supposedly desperate Sellers waiting at anchorage.

However, fundamentals remain encouraging with the Indian Rupee trading mostly in and around a healthier INR 61 to the US Dollar and steady steel prices leaving much ground for optimism. As with Bangladesh, it is the smaller range of vessels from 5 to 12,000 LDT that are drawing in the most buyers due to the lower risks and quicker cutting time associated with importing such units.

Source: steel guru. 12 March 2014

11 March 2014

Indian shipbreaking bounces back as rupee strengthens:

In the end, it was simply a matter of holding one’s nerve, refusing to commit locally and weathering the storm caused by the sagging value of the Indian rupee against the US dollar and the dipping prices of steel scrap.

As the Indian currency regained the ground lost in the second fortnight of January, to trade again in the respectable range of INR 61 against the dollar, after briefly touching INR 63, end buyers of scrap ships rushed back to the table seeking to acquire any available vessels on offer.

After a remarkably bullish start to the year, demand had tailed off as end buyers chose to wait and watch market developments before committing on new tonnage. Following the rupee’s recovery, demand surged again for all types of units in both Alang and Mumbai, with local sentiment pushing prices to some previously unthinkable levels.

Clean tankers attracted bids of USD 465 per LDT from India, with marginally lower levels seen from Bangladesh and Pakistan while general cargo vessels were being quoted at USD 430 per LDT in India, USD 425 per LDT in Bangladesh and USD 415 per LDT in Pakistan.

Dubai based cash buyers GMS said that there are plenty of open buyers with yard capacity in the sub-continent barely half full. Almost all types of vessel are in demand with a particular preference, perhaps, for mid sized 7,000 to 14,000 LDT vessels, favoured due to the lower overall cutting time, in light of the constant volatility being seen in all markets.

Nevertheless, no market sales were reported. Despite cash buyers holding onto a number of unsold units, there has not been the substantial supply of tonnage that many had expected from the market in January.

With 16 vessels at anchorage in Chittagong, it has been a busy tide of deliveries and beachings in Bangladesh in the first week of February. Steel prices actually gained ground by as much as USD 10 per LDT wiping out the previous week’s losses in the process.

Source: steel guru.  11 March 2014

Singapore ship owners issued with beaching plea:

Global: The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has called on Singapore-based vessel owners to stop selling their old ships to beach-breaking yards in developing countries.

'It is now time for South East Asian ship owners to join the front-runners of the maritime industry mainly based in Europe and say ''no'' to a practice that is harming the environment and people,' the NGO's executive director Patrizia Heidegger told the recent TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum held in Singapore.

According to the Platform, shipbreaking as practised today on the beaches of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan leads to pollution of coastal ecosystems while exposing workers to danger. In a list published in February, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform claims that the vast majority of the 39 Singapore-owned ships sent for dismantling last year were destined for the South Asian beach-breaking yards: 17 to India, nine to Bangladesh and five to Pakistan.

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform notes that the European ship owners to have adopted an anti-beaching stance include Dutch firm Boskalis, as well as Norwegian companies Grieg Shipping, Wilhelmsen and Höegh Autoliners.

In North America, Canadian Steamship Lines will no longer beach any of its ships, and international oil and gas companies are choosing cleaner and safer recycling for their tankers, the NGO adds.

Source: recycling international.  11 March 2014

Indian breakers aim to stay ahead of Brussels dictates:

Yard association official Nitin Kanakiya says recyclers are mulling various ‘options’ to enable them to meet the new European Ship Recycling Regulation

Indian shipbreakers’ leader, Nitin Kanakiya, claims that the world’s top vessel-recycling complex at Alang can meet strict requirements enabling the continued scrapping of European-flag ships on the subcontinent.

A potential ban by the European Commission (EC) on beaching ships for demolition stems from a new Brussels regulation that refers to the use of a “built structure” when dismantling vessels and a non-permeable floor to prevent the leakage of hazardous substances.

Beaching accounts for 70% to 75% of all ship scrapping and a European ban would come as a blow to the Indian subcontinent, although owners could still side-step such a clampdown by reflagging end-of-life tonnage.

Kanakiya, who is honorary secretary of the Ship Recycling Industries Association (India), brushes aside talk of a doomsday scenario by insisting that Indian recycling yards, of which there are currently 140 operating, are considering “options” to meet the European Ship Recycling Regulation (SRR).

Speaking on the sidelines of TradeWinds’ Ship Recycling Forum in Singapore, attended by a delegation of around 46 Indian shipbreakers, Kanakiya said that while there are no plans for concrete slipways, there are instead proposals to construct an area where oil tanks and other sections can be taken and cut without leakage.

A further option is installing rubber sheeting below the sand.

Kanakiya says “built structures” sound impractical but the options being considered by the recyclers would achieve the same objectives sought by Brussels, namely to stop leakages into the soil in the intertidal zone.

He concedes that the problem at Alang is the fact that individual plots are often small, some 60 with only a seafront of less than 50 metres.

“But we are open to change and we will employ whatever is best and economically feasible,” said Kanakiya.

He says India has already adopted most provisions set out by the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC).

“If we come up with a feasible economic option then I believe nobody is going to stop us,” said Kanakiya. “We will address the requirements, not the terminology.”

He says Indian shipbreakers have never demanded aid to develop facilities and do not want to because of the terms that would be attached. The recyclers are prepared to invest themselves, he claims.

Quizzed on how many Alang breakers will be capable of meeting the European regulation for inclusion on its approved list of yards to scrap EU-flag tonnage, Kanakiya says currently just four yards are being promoted.

He argues that most Indian yards should be capable of eventually meeting the regulations. There are ways and means of bridging the “gap” with what Europe requires, he adds.

Kanakiya says a bigger threat is that the SRR fails and that is the reason India is pushing its case.

“That is why we are here [in Singapore] with a huge delegation of 46,” he said.

“We want to create history with the help of the TradeWinds [forum]. If we can do something constructive here, then fine.”

Among those speaking at the recycling forum this week was Emilien Gasc, policy officer at the EC’s Directorate-General for the Environment.

He says it is the intention to publish the list of approved recycling yards in the second half of 2015, “which gives us time to come up with the guidance” and for facilities to assess whether they have a chance of being included.

“We have every intention of making the regulation work and if there is a strong indication it will not, we will have time to reflect,” said Gasc.

The SRR does not mention beaching, only technical requirements that have to be achieved. “The door to adapting is open,” he told TradeWinds.

This article by Geoff Garfield was published in TradeWinds on March 7, 2014

TradeWinds Events is the conference arm of shipping news provider TradeWinds. We help move business forward through information exchange, stimulating fresh thinking and professional networking. We produce lively, independent and interactive conferences covering a wide range of maritime sectors, including ship building,  ship recycling, marine insurance, maritime security, offshore shipping and  technology, and vessel chartering. Each conference agenda is carefully designed to tackle the most topical and often controversial subjects. We do not offer time on the podium in exchange for sponsorship, but rather on the merits of the contribution and we continually appraise our performance via regular delegate feedback surveys

Source: TradeWinds Events. 8 March 201

08 March 2014


The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of 19 environmental, human rights and labour rights organisations working to prevent dangerous and polluting shipbreaking worldwide, is calling on Singapore-based ship owners to stop selling their end-of-life ships filled with hazardous wastes to beach-breaking yards in developing countries, but rather demand clean and safe ship recycling.

“It is now time for South East Asian ship owners to join the front-runners of the maritime industry mainly based in Europe and say no to a practice that is harming the environment and people,” says Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, who just spoke at the TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum held in Singapore. “There are various opportunities to choose clean and safe ship recycling, and it’s time for responsible South East Asian ship owners to seize these.”

Shipbreaking as practiced today on the beaches in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan is a cause for pollution of the coastal ecosystems next to the yards. This also includes erosion and an increased risks of floods when the coastal green belt of mangrove trees is cut down in Bangladesh. Not only are workers exposed to dangerous waste in the yards and downstream scrap yards, but the industry also effects surrounding communities, including fishermen who have lost their livelihoods. By selling their ships to such yards, Singapore shipping companies are effectively encouraging substandard shipbreaking that continue to harm the local environment and communities.

“Singapore as an industrialised state and a major shipping hub must make sure it does not externalise costs for hazardous waste management to developing countries when scrapping its ships”, says Jim Puckett, Executive Director of US-based Basel Action Network (BAN). “What is more, ship owners need to develop ship recycling policies that take into account the real costs for responsible recycling”.

In a list published in February [1], the Platform counted that out of 39 Singapore-owned ships sent for dismantling last year, almost all were sent to the South Asian beach-breaking yards: 17 ships were sent to India, 9 to Bangladesh and 5 to Pakistan. Containership owner Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) sold 6 end-of-life ships for dismantling in 2013, all of them to either Alang, India or Chittagong, Bangladesh [2].

“Shipbreaking yards in South Asia do not operate according to international environmental standards. Ship owners should make sure their end-of-life ships are recycled in accordance with those standards,” says Ritwick Dutta, environmental lawyer from India, who also spoke in the conference. “Ship owners should not just rely on certificates presented to them, but must verify under which conditions their old ships are really demolished”.

The European Union has effectively disqualified beaching for EU-flagged ships by issuing a new EU Ship Recycling Regulation in December 2013. The regulation requires recycling facilities to operate from “built structures” and asks for full containment of all pollutants, leakage control and impermeable floors. European ship owners that have chosen an anti-beaching position including Dutch ship owner Boskalis, as well as Norwegian companies Grieg Shipping, Wilhelmsen and Höegh Autoliners. In North America, Canadian Steamship Lines (CSL) has declared not to beach any of its ships anymore, and leading international oil and gas companies chose cleaner and safer recycling for their tankers.

[1] The 2013 lists are available here: http://bit.ly/LHuOTn
[2] See our complete list in the appendix.
Patrizia Heidegger
Executive Director
NGO Shipbreaking Platform
In Singapore: 0065 8331 9468

Jim Puckett
Executive Director
Basel Action Network

Ritwick Dutta
Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE)

Source: NGO shipbreaking platform.  6 March 2014