30 September 2014

Two Royal Navy destroyers sold to Turkish scrap merchant:

HMS Liverpool as she entered Portsmouth for the last time. 

Picture: Allan Hutchings (121076-214)
HMS Liverpool as she entered Portsmouth for the last time. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121076-214)

TWO of the Royal Navy’s old class of destroyers have now been sold for scrap, The News can reveal.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to Turkish company Leyal Ship Recycling to break up two of the five Type 42 destroyers currently awaiting disposal.

The former HMS Manchester and Liverpool will be towed from the naval base in Portsmouth soon.

Three other destroyers – Edinburgh, York and Gloucester – remain, and a competition to dispose of these ships will be advertised later this year.

The MoD could not reveal how much Manchester and Liverpool had been sold for as the figures are commercially sensitive.

Bob Mullen, 55, of North End, is the chairman of the Type 42 association and served in HMS Manchester.

He said: ‘It will be a sad day.

‘We have been trying to save these ships and there is hope that HMS Edinburgh might be retained so at least we have one kept.

‘But then somebody has to pay for the upkeep and it’s not easy.

‘It is sad but they are 40 years old and technology moves on.’

During her service, HMS Liverpool was stationed in the Falklands for six months after the conflict with Argentina in 1982 and took part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

She hit the headlines in 2011 for her role in the war in Libya where she became the first ship to be fired on since the Falklands.

Manchester participated in the Royal Navy’s Global ’86 tour where a task group flew the flag in a round-the-world cruise.

They were both decommissioned to make way for the Royal Navy’s six new Type 45 destroyers, all of which are based in Portsmouth.

As reported in The News, Leyal is the same firm which broke up the former HMS Ark Royal and Invincible.

A spokeswoman for Defence Equipment and Support, the organisation that handles equipment and services for the MoD, said: ‘Following a competition a contract has been awarded to recycle the two former Type 42 destroyers Manchester and Liverpool.

‘The contract for these ships has been awarded to the Turkish recycling company Leyal Ship Recycling. On current plans, these two ships will be towed from Portsmouth by Leyal later this autumn.

‘The value of the sale is commercially sensitive.

‘A competition to dispose of Edinburgh, Gloucester and York will be advertised by the Disposal Services Authority later this year.’

Source: Portsmouth. 30 September 2014

CSDC, CSCL get subsidies worth $41.5m for ship scrapping:

China Shipping Development Co (CSDC) and China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) have revealed that the government subsidies they received worth a combined $41.5m from ship scrapping activities will have a positive effect on their bottomline in financial year 2014.

Bulker and tanker owner CSDC announced to the Shanghai Stock Exchange that it has received subsidies of RMB215m ($35m) by sending 15 elderly vessels to the shipbreakers between 1 January 2013 to 30 April 2014.

Container line CSCL also announced that it has gotten RMB40m in subsidies by demolishing five elderly vessels between 1 January 2013 to 30 April 2014.

Both CSDC and CSCL have claimed that the subsidies would have a “positive impact on the 2014 financial results”.

CSDC and CSCL are both subsidiaries of China Shipping Group.

China's ministry of transport had announced in December 2013 a policy that will offer subsidies of RMB1,500 per gross tonne to shipping companies that scrap their vessels before their operational expiry dates.

China dismantled around 2.5m tonnes in capacity of vessels in 2013, up 4.6% from the previous year, according to China National Shiprecycling Association.

Source: sea trade global. 30 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Pakistan ship breaking industry for WEEK 39 of 2014:

Pakistani buyers can reflect with some satisfaction on a bumper Q3 of the year, having imported several of their favored large LDT units including VLCCs, suezmax and aframax tankers (gas free for man entry only) along with a multitude of mid sized dry vessels and even tweens.

It was however a quieter overall week in Pakistan, with no new sales to report and a market seemingly content to wind itself down ahead of the upcoming Eid holidays.

Many of the hot buyers have been taken with tonnage of late, so it will be interesting to see how the market opens up again after the holidays to see whether the will to compete with Bangladesh and India still exists.

Source:  steel guru. 30 September 2014

Stir planned against SILK shipbreaking unit at Beypore:

An environmentalist attached to the action council said they would seek the support of leading social activist Medha Patkar.

An action council of people constituted to campaign against ship-breaking activities in the State has decided to turn its focus on Beypore, where a unit of Steel Industries Kerala Limited (SILK) is going to dismantle Asian King, an old Japan-made oil tanker ship, which was bought to the breaking yard on Tuesday by a Tuticorin-based steel company.

Action council leaders, who were so far concentrating on the closure of the Azhikkal ship-breaking unit, said that they would launch an indefinite protest against SILK at Beypore till it withdrew from the move.

“We have already enlisted the support of leading environmental organisations, fishermen’s unions and human rights organisations to sensitise people to the issue and stop the highly polluting attempt,” they said.

Rajesh Warier, convener of the action council, said the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) had already made it clear that it would not approve any more ship-breaking ventures in the State.

Against orders

“If SILK is facilitating such a venture, it will be a clear violation of all the standing orders, including a recent verdict from the Supreme Court,” he said.

Mr. Warier said that the action council leaders would meet District Collector C.A. Latha urging her to issue a stop memo against the ship dismantling project as it was “initiated illegally and will cause serious pollution problems and health hazards to the residents.” He said that in case of any delay in action, the council would launch strong protests by interrupting the work.
Medha’s support
An environmentalist attached to the action council said they would seek the support of leading social activist Medha Patkar.

“She is expected to attend a convention in Kannur district on October 22 and we will invite her to Beypore for strengthening our agitation,” he said.

The dismantling of the 35-year-old ship would begin at SILK yard in two weeks. “The verification of all the records related to the ship and its crew has been completed and there are no technical hurdles to stop the process,” they said.

Source: the hindu.

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh ship breaking industry for WEEK 39 of 2014:

Despite a few sales in recent times and some improvement in demand and local steel prices, it has been a disappointing third quarter overall for the Bangladeshi market.

Many favored larger LDT vessels (even those coming from the East) have bypassed Chittagong for Gadani shores, whilst an abnormally torrential monsoon season has seen flooding beset much of the country.

With many areas under water, this has seen new development and building projects stall and Bangladeshi yards are subsequently failing to shift the stockpiles of ship’s steel built up in their yards.

There is the hope that the upcoming Eid holidays and the end to monsoon season might finally bring with it a renewed energy and demand to an industry, which has displayed a certain sluggishness so far in the second half of 2014.

Source: steel guru. 30 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Turkey ship breaking industry for WEEK 39 of 2014:

The steel prices in Aliaga have further depreciated this week, evidencing a continuing fall in the local market.

At the beginning of September, the local steel mills were purchasing steel from ship recycling facilities at levels close to USD 390 per MT. Last week, this rate had dropped to USD 370 per MT, which translates to an overall fall of USD 20 per MT for the first month of the final quarter of the year.

With such a negative fluctuation in local steel prices, Turkish breakers are uncertain as to whether they should continue putting efforts with aggressive speculation in order to acquire market tonnage and keep their facilities operating, or if they should just follow the negative trend of the prices offered by the rolling mills.

However, the latter does not appear to be a realistic solution for the Turkish buyers since they are already unable to prevent tonnage from being repositioned towards the Indian sub-continent shores, where prices remain much firm.

As such, the shores of Aliaga remain capable of attracting only small LDT units as the lack of large LDT quality tonnage for local yards persists.

Source: steel guru. 30 September 2014

GMS weekly report on China ship breaking industry for WEEK 39 of 2014:

With October holidays set to commence in the coming week, the majority of yards took the opportunity to finish business earlier (it is not as if as if they have been missing much of the international business of late).

Despite remaining busy on the local front (it has simply become a domestic recycling market this year after the announcement of the state subsidies), there has been nothing to report in terms of international sales for some time yet.

The situation is hardly expected to improve after October holidays either, as the expiration of the existing subsidy in late 2015 is the only factor that may elevate China to once again compete with the Indian sub-continent markets.

Source: steel guru. 30 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Indian ship breaking industry for WEEK 39 of 2014:

Some further dramatic moves on the Indian Rupee this week once again shocked end buyers into submission, as extreme market volatility once again reared its head in India.

The Rupee made an unexpected and sharp depreciation just over INR 62 against the US Dollar, leaving many cash buyers and end buyers cursing their luck, having only recently acquired some high priced inventory.

Those lucky enough not to buy, retreated into their shells monitoring market movements with interest most buyers will perhaps wish to see Diwali holidays out before returning to the bidding table in a few weeks.

There were however some further interesting sales to note, in signs that some cash buyers are continuing to ignore the overall market volatility, just to get their hands on some tonnage and hoping for a post Diwali boom in prices.

The Chinese controlled general cargo tween vessel ZHONG XIANG (8,671 LDT) achieved a remarkable USD 512/LT LDT the favorable size, heavy prop, November delivery, and low beam, all contributing to the decent price on show.

Additionally, the RoRo / container vessel JOLLY ARANCIONE (20,748 LDT) was committed for a similarly decent USD 463 per LT LDT (‘as is’ Port Rashid) despite having approximately 4,000 T permanent ballast included in the lightweight (making cutting activity, a tough procedure for end buyers).

Source: steel guru. 30 September 2014

24 September 2014

3rd Conference on Ship Recycling Bring out Revealing Facts:

A realistic picture at the grass root level of the ship breaking industry in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan unfolded at the’ 3rd Ship Annual conference on Ship Recycling on the Indian Sub-continent’ held on 18th September 2014 at Taj-President Mumbai. Organized by the world renowned Hinode, the event drew participants from various quarters of the globe especially ship builders, recyclers, classification societies representatives, government regulators, charterers, cash buyers and host of others from allied fields. 

From the deliberations it was evident that the Indian ship recycling industry is not ready to ratify the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. Yet more apparent is that without India, Pakistan and Bangladesh - the three major ship recycling member countries - not wanting to ratify, the Convention will continue to remain dormant and may get totally sidelined.

But the remarkable development is that even though ratification may not take place most ship recyclers in India and to some extent other countries, were coming around to making their yards complaint with the various regulations of the Convention. With regards the European Union pushing forward their regulation, the only difference with that is that while the beaching method was favored in the sub continent the EU countries insist on the dry docking.

In his presentation on “Technical requirements for and comparison of ship recycling methods”, Henning Gramann, Managing Director of GSR Services GmbH, pointed out, “I do not say that ship recyclers in India, China or Turkey do not take into account the issues set out in the Hong Kong Convention.  You can say ship recycling here is sustainable if it takes care of the environment protection and adhere to maintaining proper Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM). The ship recyclers plan can be sustainable provided various alternatives for better waste management enhance preparedness, hinterland waste management, etc. In this context I do not see why the beaching method cannot be acceptable.”

A very remarkable revelation about the Alang ship breakers was made by Komalkant Sharma, Group Chairman of Leela Ship Recycling Pvt Ltd. “Most of the steel produced at Alang is used for conversion through Re-rolling mills and then to the end user where as in Europe it goes through the furnace and then to other processes and then to the end user.  Nearly 98 per cent of the material in Alang gets consumed by end users as there is heavy demand for it for use in building industry, for fittings, etc. Every part of the ship is consumed. But the cost of ‘green shipyards’ is nearly 8% to 10% more than ours because theirs is slower and there is loss of opportunities.”

Pravin Nagarsheth an outstanding proponent of the Indian ship recycling industry stated that their trade association has over Rs 300 crores. They have plans to concretize the various yards, provide intensified and improved training to workers and the ship breakers can look for better days ahead as the Indian government has given it an industry status. Besides, the scope for providing employment was tremendous.

Speaking on “Cash Buying: True Economics vs Speculative Economic; what lies ahead”, Siddharth Shah of Star Matrix Ltd., confided, “Cash buyers did not make more than three percent in their business but were providing a win-win situation to both the ship owners and recyclers. We don’t provide finance but only finance relief.” But he added that in the event of the ship owner being given a good price it is the ship recycler who stands to lose.  

Ship owners should make it a point to get their IHM certification done especially when the vessel goes for dry docking advised Rakesh Bhargava, Head – Lay-up, Green Recycling and IHM Services of Wilhelmsen Ship Management Sdn Bhd, Malaysia. “IHM is mandatory and ship owners should not wait for the EU Regulations to come into force.  Generally, IHM certification for existing ships takes anywhere between three to eight weeks to obtain.”

Certain other aspects of ship recycling were also presented. Among these being the “Role of the Surveyor” which was dealt with by Mandeep Singh Pruthi, Senior Manager of Murray Fenton India and by his colleague from the same organization Capt Sebastian D’Lima a Senior Surveyor. “Ship Recycling Industry in India–Overview and SWOT Analysis.” by Nitin Kanakiya, Honorary Secretary of Ship Recycling Industries Association. The Inaugural address was delivered by Amitava Bannerjee, Chief Surveyor of the Government of India.

Source: Marine Link. 24 September 2014

23 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Turkey ship breaking industry for WEEK 38 of 2014:

Local steel plate prices in Aliaga have dropped by about 6% during the past couple of weeks, which has resulted in some of the major steel mills and scrap buyers to stop any buying activities over the last week.

Rumor has it, a further drop in steel prices is expected in the coming weeks, something that has consequently left many end buyers concerned about their positions on available tonnage, as they are no longer able to maintain their speculative prices, which were witnessed earlier this month.

Despite the local demand persisting, some of the key fundamentals affecting prices i.e the steel prices and the currency exchange, have not been favoring the Turkish buyers for the past few weeks.

With the Turkish Lira having depreciated further this week and local steel plate prices collapsing, levels on offer are now approximately USD 5 per MT lower with some expectations they will drop another USD 5 per tonne in the next week.

Source: steel guru. 23 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Indian ship breaking industry for WEEK 38 of 2014:

The show stopping sale of the container ALTAVIA (10,448 LDT) shocked much of the industry. The vessel achieved a remarkable and inconceivable price of USD 535 per LT LDT that smacks of a typical end of the week speculative purchase by the respective cash buyer who has clearly and considerably over-hyped the near future of the Indian recycling market.

At present, local prices are nowhere near reflecting those being offered up by cash buyers and there is some concern on the security of those deals done at highly uncomfortable numbers particularly if the market turns or fails to climb to breakeven levels for the concerned cash buyer.

Notwithstanding, with Diwali holidays on the horizon towards the end of October, this may be a reason for some of the increased anticipation on the buoyancy of levels with end buyers keen to stock their plots before the holiday period commences.

Indeed, many local buyers are feeling somewhat stretched at present levels and are not inclined to improve prices on available units at all.

Local fundamentals remain as volatile as ever, with the Rupee continuing to vacillate around INR 61 against the US Dollar and steel prices improving and declining by as much as USD 5 to USD 10 per LDT each week.

Source: steel guru. 23 September 2014

GMS weekly report on China ship breaking industry for WEEK 38 of 2014:

With Chinese National October holidays just around the corner next week in China, there was very little to report in terms of new sales from state owners or otherwise.

Such has been the decline in local levels recently that many owners are choosing to bypass China altogether (the gap is now almost USD 200/LDT between sub continent markets).

Scrap yards in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are becoming more viable on price than China, in concerning developments for the industry.

Source: steel guru. 23 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh ship breaking industry for WEEK 38 of 2014:

Demand and pricing appear to be returning to expected levels slowly but surely in Chittagong and it was no surprise to see several more sales concluded as a result.

However, it is still a struggle for end buyers to shift inventory from their plots (from vessels purchased much earlier in the year) as poor weather and flooding continues to beset the country and this has hampered new construction and development projects over the of the prevailing monsoon, which has, in turn, seen a slowdown in demand for scrap steel.

Steel prices have declined slightly this week by about USD 5 to USD 7 per LDT (havin improved by over USD 20 per LDT over the previous few weeks), but the currency continues to remain steady.

On the sales front, the two sales that were reported saw two smaller bulkers positioned in the East and discharging in the area sold for decent prices.

The Taiwanese controlled GUI SHUN (4,906 LDT) and the Turkish owned AK BROTHER (6,660 LDT) were sold for USD 465 per LT LDT and 496 per LT LDT respectively.

The older age (1979 built) and smaller LDT (meaning much fewer buyers to acquire in a market favoring larger LDT units) saw the GUI SHUN achieve the significantly lower price on show.

Source: steel guru. 23 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Pakistan ship breaking industry for WEEK 38 of 2014:

Another week of barren sales lay testament to the realities of a slowing Pakistan market and cooling of demand. Many of the hot buyers have booked themselves with juicy tonnage of late and the second tier of buyers emerging, is offering far lower levels for the tonnage on offer.

A lack of tankers (gas free for man entry only) has also seen fewer overall sales concluded into Pakistan. In the past month, various suezmax, aframax, and VLCCs have been fixed to local yards a favored choice for Gadani buyers.

Local fundamentals remain steady with the only concerns being a slowing demand and political instability, which continues to beset the country.

Source: steel guru. 23 September 2014

Migrant labourer dead, another injured at Alang shipbreaking yard:

In an accident at world’s largest ship-breaking yard at Alang in Gujarat, a migrant labourer from Orissa died and another injured while working on a container ship that was beached for being broken at the yard in Bhavnagar district, official sources said here on Tuesday.

The incident happened when the 27-year-old victim Prasant Dakua slipped and fell while climbing a ladder during the oil removal process of the container ship MV Justus which was beached on plot number 58, belonging to Malwi Ship Breaking Company. The incident happened on Monday evening at 6 pm, said an official of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) that overlooks and monitors shipbreaking activities at the yard.

Another labourer who was working with him was also injured and rushed to the hospital. The injured was identified as Ravindra Prajapati, the official said adding the accident happened when oil and other forms of lubricants were being emptied from the ships before being broken.

This is the second accident to have happened within a space of three months at Alang. On June 28, five persons were killed and eight others injured when an explosion happened onboard a chemical tanker that was being dismantled.

Source: the Indian Express.  23 September 2014

20 September 2014

USS Saratoga lands in Brownsville for scrapping:

USS Saratoga (CV-60) under way in 1985. The historic aircraft carrier arrived in Brownsville on Friday and will be dismantled. Photo: Wikimedia

SAN ANTONIO – The historic USS Saratoga that once toured in the Vietnam and first Iraqi wars has now settled in Brownsville after a long and final voyage from Rhode Island.

The decommissioned aircraft carrier arrived in Brownsville on Friday where it will be dismantled – for a penny – by ESCO Marine.

USS Saratoga docked at Diego Garcia, the first aircraft carrier to do so. The historic aircraft carrier arrived in Brownsville on Friday and will be dismantled. Photo: Wikimedia

ESCO Marine, who recycles governmental ships, plans to resell pieces of the ship "to accommodate the level of interest in Saratoga and her history," its website states. Parts of the flight deck and hull will be refabricated into plaques and medallions with vessel specification and history engravings.

These little pieces of history will go on sale in December, and they will be available at the ESCO Marine Sales facility or online.

Ranks of enlisted crew members of Saratoga file off the ship for the last time at the end of the decommissioning ceremony. The historic aircraft carrier arrived in Brownsville on Friday and will be dismantled. Photo: Wikimedia

The Saratoga is the second ship this year to be tugged into the South Texas town for scrapping. The USS Forrestal arrived in February, and is still being dismantled by a separate company, All Star Metals, an article by The Brownsville-Herald states.

The third ship, the USS Constellation, will arrive in December after taking the long way around from Washington state. International Shipbreakers was paid $3 million by the Navy to scrap the ship because of the long transportation around the Horn of South America, a separate article by The Brownsville-Herald states.

Saratoga's demise comes after the Navy was unable to donate the ship to a museum, a press release from the Navy states.

Though, many Saratoga fans still exist, and hundreds were there to watch the ship make its last voyage.

At the ship's departure from Rhode Island, Darryl Fern, a member of the USS Saratoga Association, said he is disappointed the ship will be demolished, an article by the Navy states.

"It's sad that she could not be turned into a museum," Fern stated. "Like all the other older carriers, it's time for her to meet her demise."

The Forrestal-class ship was decommissioned on Sept. 30 1994 after 38 years of service and 22 deployments, including the Cuban Missle Crisis. It was the sixth Saratoga ship in U.S. history, named after the infamous American Revolution battle.

Source: my sanantonio. 19 September 2014

16 September 2014

Indian sub-continent tops shipbreaking league:

India: Vessel scrapping volumes were 'relatively weak' during last decade's shipping market boom, with an average of 6.1 million dwt reported recycled per year in the period from 2005 to 2007. However, the global recession contributed to an upturn in demolition volumes and a record 58.4 million dwt was reportedly recycled in 2012, according to Clarkson Research.
Demolition levels 'remain strong' and 47.1 million dwt was recycled last year, according to the researcher. In the first seven months of the current year, meanwhile, 21.6 million dwt was reportedly scrapped - quite close to the long-term average of 24.9 million dwt demolished per year in the period from 1996 to 2013.

The majority of vessels have been demolished by shipbreakers in the Indian sub-continent. Scrap yards in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan accounted for over 70% of the tonnage in the first seven months of 2014. 

In recent years, Indian breakers have typically demolished the largest proportion and handled 30% of global scrap volumes between 2010 and 2013.

'Currency volatility and political instability saw Indian breakers' share of demolition fall to 25% last year, but their share is up at 33% in the year to date,' Clarkson Research reports. In dwt terms, Bangladeshi scrap yards accounted for almost 60% of the demolition volumes between 2005 and 2008, but environmental disputes and competition have limited their activity to 18% of global scrap volumes in the year to date.

Pakistani breakers, meanwhile, have cornered an increasing share of the global demolition market, with their proportion rising from an average of 5% in the 2005-2008 period to 20% in 2013. And in the first seven months of 2014, their scrapping total was reportedly 4.6 million dwt.

'Chinese scrap facilities have generally been less able to compete on price with breakers in the Indian sub-continent due to the higher labour and yard costs compared to beaching,' Clarkson Research states. 'On average, Chinese breakers scrapped 8% of the total tonnage between 2005 and 2008.'

And yet a narrowing of the scrap price differential between the Far East and the Indian sub-continent has helped increase their share of demolition volumes to an average of 21% for the 2009-2013 period, surging to 24% - or 11.2 million dwt - in 2013.

Source: recycling international.  16 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Turkey ship breaking industry for WEEK 37 of 2014:

Only a couple of small units (about 2,000 to 4,000 lightweight) were delivered during the second week of September, failing once more to satisfy the demand of the domestic recycling market. Consequently, in an effort to acquire tonnage, prices offered by the Turkish buyers improved by about USD 3 per tonne to USD 5 per tonne.

However, putting a damper to the rising prices was the Turkish Lira that depreciated by more than 2% by the close of the week, which is raising questions as to whether such levels are going to be maintained throughout September.

Despite the local fundamentals sending mixed signals, it certainly appears that there are local buyers ready to take speculative positions above the current market levels for vessels with significantly bigger lightweight, in their attempts to keep their facilities operating.

Source: steel guru. 16 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh ship breaking industry for WEEK 37 of 2014:

Buyers are slowly but surely following up those initial enquiries with increasingly firm offers in Bangladesh, as cash buyers continue to unload vessels from their existing inventories at impressive numbers that seemed mere fantasy only two weeks ago.

Of course, Chittagong buyers still have to compete with the buoyant levels available in Pakistan and for that reason, they have lost several juicy, larger LDT vessels of late, but a veritable lack of tonnage at local yards has seen some renewed hunger to acquire.

Part of the problem post Eid holidays has been that end buyers were unable to shift the stockpiles of ships steel from their plots and were hence hesitant to buy further units at highly competitive rates.

However, this stance appears to have shifted recently as evident from the sale of Chinese owned handysize bulker LUCKY EVER (5,548 LDT) in what appears to be a certain Bangladesh deal once the cash buyer has taken her over ‘as is’ in Singapore.

Source: steel guru. 16 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Pakistan ship breaking industry for WEEK 37 of 2014:

It was a quieter overall week in Pakistan as Indian and Bangladeshi buyers stole the headlines (in terms of tonnage secured). Gadani buyers have acquired their share of well priced tonnage of late with various aframax, suezmax, and VLCC tankers making their way to the shorefront.

As a result, some of the aggression to fill plots may be waning and a shift in momentum may be seen in the upcoming weeks, to competing sub continent markets whose plots remain empty and the hunger to buy, increasingly more impressive.

Having dominated the price charts and overall sales volumes for the best part of two months, Pakistan can look back with extreme satisfaction for large chunks of the year and lay claims to a job well done.

Gadani is fast becoming known as the go to market for larger LDT vessels and the market has so far remained largely insulated to the regular and harmful fluctuations of both India and Bangladesh.

Source: steel guru. 16 September 2014

GMS weekly report on Indian ship breaking industry for WEEK 37 of 2014:

Despite some stability being seen in the local currency and domestic steel markets, it was another curious week of cash buyer speculation as three container units were sold at stratospheric levels, for what could only be considered Indian redeliveries (Pakistan does not take containers and Bangladeshi buyers have yet to reach such levels in their own market).

It looks to be extreme speculation on the three Technomar units and a big gamble given the way the Indian market has consistently disappointed and hurt cash buyers this year.

The vessels in question saw two handysize containers, the TANGIERS (7,693 LDT) and the TARRAGONA (7,693 LDT) sold for USD 505/LT LDT ‘as is’ Fujairah with about 250 T of bunkers ROB for the voyage. The favored size (given the number of open buyers to take such units) will surely have contributed to the price on show.

Additionally, the panamax sized container MELINA (24,321 LDT) however may be the biggest risk of all given that the vessel is stationed in Singapore and may not have sufficient bunkers for the voyage across. She too was committed at the extremely firm price of USD 505/LT LDT to the same cash buyer enbloc, with most likely less than the 250 T bunkers on board that many are reporting.

Source: steel guru. 16 September 2014

GMS weekly report on China ship breaking industry for WEEK 37 of 2014:

As prices remained stranded well below USD 300 per LT LDT, it was another no show of a week in China.

Even Vietnamese, Indonesian and Filipino scrap yards were able to pay firmer levels than in China. As a result, many locally flagged smaller vessels finished up in these yards rather than making the voyage to a traditionally higher Chinese market.

Of course, the supply of well-priced state tonnage eligible for the subsidies remains consistent and this is where yards and owners alike continue to make their money.

Source: steel guru. 16 September 2014

15 September 2014

Asbestos Time Bomb in Bangladesh

Just a 3 minutes ride in a motorbike from the other side of Buriganga bridge from Dhaka city inside Basundhara River View project. Give a look left and you will find big sized new ships are being built. Hundreds of workers are busy with that. Thanks to the ship building industry, Bangladesh is building new ships fulfills domestic needs and exporting to Western countries. But what western countries are exporting to Bangladesh. The list is big and in many cases important for Bangladesh economy. But the list includes name asbestos. Really harmful, dangerous and damaging for the people of Bangladesh.

Where these asbestos come from, where these asbestos are being processed, where these asbestos are being used remain almost hidden here. But near the ship building yard on the other side of river Buriganga of Dhaka city OHSE research team has found a number of small cottage-like dens where asbestos are being processed. The place is out of general peoples sight, here a number of male and female work. They process asbestos, first burn the raw asbestoses into liquid then turn it into solid form in cases of different shapes. And finally supply the solid asbestos to the market. Here the raw forms of asbestoses are being processed said by an expert gives legal supports to the importers of asbestos.

Most of the cases asbestos comes from abroad as an imported good are directly going to the local market for multiple uses.  Bangladesh is the 31st top country in the world in the line of consuming asbestos. Canada, Russia, South Africa, Mozambique, Turkey, Austria, Brazil, USA, Australia, and Oman are listed as exporters of asbestos and asbestos contained materials to Bangladesh.

Its annual consumption is on an average 8,500 tones involving about 1.5 million dollar. The use of domestic consumption is growing side by side increase import of raw asbestos and asbestos contained finished materials inside to country on recent years with having little public information and knowledge as well as legal instruments to take a controlling measures of it.
Furthermore, in Bangladesh asbestos is recovered by manual crushing and then re-crusted, or-re-formed, for re-use. Asbestos is still not necessarily regulated as hazardous waste in Bangladesh. Asbestos is being used in many purposes.  Besides founding asbestos and asbestos contained materials from the source of ship breaking sector located in Chittagong, in Bangladesh many products contains asbestos are selling and baying at local marker without knowing its definite consequence at personal life in long run.

Almost every family in Bangladesh consumes some sort of asbestos. Electric Ceiling fans using inside the house contain with asbestos. The body of the fans are made of asbestos and these are made at the place of the other side of Buriganga, mentioned above. While the research team talked to Masum Hossain, a broker there, in the guise of traders, he was ready to supply as much as needed.

In the area women were found working directly with asbestoses. Sacks of asbestoses kept here and there. While wanted to touch, one of the women stopped, saying, don’t touch, it would cause you harm. Asked, how do they work with such a thing, she said, we have no problem.  These women have been working here for 2/3 years. None found, who worked there for more than 5 years.  This is common; nobody wants to work for long period. As asked none of the workers said, they suffer any physical constraints for this.

Source: Asia Monitor Resource Centre

Threat of asbestos in Bangladesh:

ASBESTOS is a name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals contained within rocks, largely produced in Russia and other countries. Those who are working in the factories and industries must be cautious about the presence of asbestos material and must protect themselves from inhaling asbestos. The use of this substance is banned in many countries. Having known that it is carcinogenic and also the cause of some other fatal lung diseases, we must take steps to protect our people working in areas with presence of Asbestos.

Asbestos was extensively used for thermal insulation in factories like refrigeration, power plant, etc. The asbestos was commonly used in brake pads, automobile clutches, roofing materials, vinyl tile, cement pipe, corrugated sheeting, etc. These materials are still present in old buildings, ships and automobiles. Being unaware of the consequences there is a huge possibility that these are being recycled and still available in the second hand market and are being used by our people. Our people are at grave risk of inhaling asbestos fiber, which is a great concern for lung diseases. Unfortunately we are not attentive enough to control the spread of asbestos fiber in our air.

Most old ships that are scrapped in Bangladesh contain asbestos material in abundance. Knowingly or unknowingly this asbestos goes to our lung through our nose. Unsafe handling of asbestos can be observed in the Ship breaking yards at Chittagong. Asbestos is also available in the factories and industries. We are afraid if the owners of the factories are aware of controlling the spread of asbestos-fiber in the air.

Control of Asbestos: We must be aware of the products which were made of asbestos in the past. Similar products in the market now should have asbestos-free certificate issued by internationally accredited laboratory. When International Society is doing so much to ban use of asbestos, are we doing anything to control it? When one will buy furniture or a material that are suspected of containing asbestos, he should have asked for a proof that these are free of asbestos. The seller should be able to produce a certificate from the manufacturer of the product that the item is free of asbestos.

Compared to other countries in the world, health and safety of the people in Bangladesh could not be properly addressed by our government. This is probably due to our ignorance and poor economy. However, it may be controlled by banning use of asbestos in our country. Ministries of Health, Industry and Trade & Commerce should take collective measures to ban the use of asbestos. Our national media should take initiative to create awareness among the citizens.

Source: The Daily Star. 14 May 2014