Yard owner applies to be on the list of facilities approved to demolish European-flag ships
Two privately owned Chinese recycling yards are making a bid to win approval from the European Union (EU) to break up ships registered with a member state.
Zhoushan Changhong International Ship Recycling Co and Jiang Xiagang Changjiang Ship Recycling Yard owner Hongwei Li personally handed over the applications to Julio Burgues, head of the EU’s waste management and recycling unit, this week.
Burgues is familiar with the yards, having visited them both in 2013, and is understood to be keen on granting approval.
Li says the pair are the first and second-largest ship-recycling facilities in the world and between them have the capacity to annually recycle a whopping 220 ships with an average lightweight of 10,500 tons each.
It is understood that this is the first application of its kind from a non-OECD ship-recycling facility. Both are purpose built using quayside and drydocks to demolish tonnage.
Recycling consultancy Sea2cradle founder Tom Peter Blankestijn has managed around 90 projects at the yards and says they have the highest standards of health, safety and the environment in the industry.
He says the waste-disposal facilities at both yards are a key part of the application.
“The quality levels and detail of the waste disposal that are now incorporated in the [European] ship recycling facility plan, is the basis of today’s EU application,” he said.
Class society Lloyd’s Register has also assisted in verifying the quality level at the facilities.
The application is based on the EU’s ship-recycling regulation, which was approved this year and requires EU-flag ships to be demolished only at approved recycling yards.
Recycling yards must meet a number of strict safety and environmental criteria, including dismantling on a non-permeable floor, which in effect rules out beaching as a method of dismantling ships. Almost all the breaking capacity in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will not be able to meet the EU approval criteria.
Li is also vice-chairman of the International Ship Recycling Association, an organisation that earlier this year strongly criticised “unacceptable” methods used by some beaching yards.
“International legislation like the recently introduced European Regulation on ship recycling should help to make an end to these practices which are very bad for human safety and the image of this industry,” it said in a statement.
However, the Indian Recycling Association has claimed that its members have made significant progress improving safety and environmental protection. They claim that the EU’s move to ban beaching threatens to isolate them and may be detrimental to improvements being made.
In addition, Chinese recycling yards pay significantly less than Indian and Pakistan facilities for tonnage, which could work against them in the market.
Zhoushan Changhong and Jiang Xiagang Changjiang are expected to be joined by Turkish yards in applying for EU approval.
Source: steel guru. 19 December 2014