24 January 2015

Pakistan’s breakers welcome steel duty

Pakistan's shipbreakers have welcomed a new 15% tax on imported steel products, while cautioning it may fail to stem cheap imports from China.

A 15% tax on imports of billets, bars, and wire rods has been introduced in Pakistan to counter perceived dumping.

"The regulatory import duty is definitely hailed by the Pakistan Ship Breakers Association, which expects it to reduce imports of Chinese finished steel alloy products," IHS Maritime was told by Asif Khan, secretary of the recyclers association at Gadani, one of the world's largest shipbreaking yards.

But he warned that Chinese steel producers are "bracing" themselves to cut prices to "nullify the impact".

"The situation will become clear in the weeks ahead," he said.

"But we understand that China has a large ready inventory for export at cheap prices, which is disturbing the market prices equilibrium."

South Asia's steel-producing ship-recycling industry has been hit since last year by cheap steel products from China.

Although India reduced its basic customs duty on imported scrap ships from 5% to 2.5%, the inflow of cheap products has continued to undercut the ship steel market.

However, despite the sector's claims of economic challenges, recyclers at Alang this year accepted a $180.28M loan, to upgrade 70 yards over the next four years, which is expected to take 40 years to repay.

Source: ihs maritime 360. 19 January 2015

Pollution Prevention and Response Sub-Committee meets

IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has opened the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), 2nd session (19-23 January), which is being chaired by Mr Sveinung Oftedal (Norway). Items on the agenda include technical work related to MARPOL Annex VI and the NOX Technical Code; development of the “Ballast Water Management – How to do it” manual; revision of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials, to support the Ship Recycling Convention; finalization of the draft Guidelines on international offers of assistance intended to provide guidance to States requesting and receiving emergency assistance during spill incidents; and developing a recommendation for a single definition of black carbon in relation to emissions from international shipping.

Source: IMO

GMS weekly report on China ship breaking industry for WEEK 3rd 2015:

COSCO announced this week that it scrapped 17 of its older vessels between September and December of 2014 – for a total of USD 51.2 million. The sales were mostly made up of containers and bulkers totaling over 900,000 DWT.

Having scrapped well over 50 vessels over the course of the year under the government subsidies scheme implemented at the end of 2013, the likes of COSCO have managed to significantly lower the average age of their fleets.

It is expected to be another busy year of scrapping with the scheme still in place until the end of 2015. State owners with Chinese flagged vessels receive a USD 150/GRT premium on the scrap price in China and a USD 150/GRT discount on the subsequent new-building built in China.

Source: steel guru. 20 Jan 2015

The need for safer recycling

RECYCLING, shipbreaking, dismantling or scrapping — no matter how it is termed — is the inevitable end of just about every ship that is ever built.

For obvious reasons it is an activity which has largely migrated to the developing world, in particular to the beaches and high tidal ranges of the sub-continent.

It would be idle to pretend that it is an industry where industrial, developed world contemporary ideas of health, safety and the environment are to be found.

Nevertheless, in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, large numbers of people are able to make a living from this activity, with almost all of the products from these redundant ships finding a further use, much of it in the region.

Many of those involved in this business are very conscious of the need to both improve safety and mitigate the effects upon the environment, although their efforts are necessarily incremental and constrained by resources.

Speaking at a Capital Link CSR Forum in London, GMS, non-executive director Dr. Nikos Mikelis (the major cash buyer of ships for recycling) said that ship recycling yards in the sub-continent were improving.

"The European Commission's intention to ban recycling by beaching would bring to an end the improvements that are taking place by effectively removing the incentives towards safer and cleaner recycling," suggested Mr Mikelis.

"Critics should visit the yards and see for themselves the substantial progress that was being made."

Mr Mikelis points out that in many yards, international standards are in place, workers wear protective equipment where this was not available in the past, and concrete hard standing is now being provided on the foreshore of the recycling yards.

This is an important issue, that will affect all ship operators to a greater or lesser extent, who find themselves caught up in the conflict of principle and interest that is likely to rumble on until the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) on the recycling of ships comes into force, hopefully bringing to an end the ambiguities surrounding the applicability of the Basel Convention on the trans-boundary movement of waste and the activities of its various activist supporters. Pressure upon high profile operators to avoid beaching systems of, despite a notable lack of practical alternatives with Chinese yards buying few foreign ships, might be thought to increase the urgency for more flag states to ratify the International Maritime Organization (IMO) treaty and speedily bring it into force.

Source: Fiji Times. 7 January 2015

Shipyards at Sitakunda face closure over blockade

Scraps, plates, other materials lying unsold

CHITTAGONG, Jan 23: The ship- breaking yards in Sitakunda seacoast are on the verge of closure as it has suffered big economic loss in 18 days of the nationwide blockade from January 6 last. The blockade will leave some 0.2 million workers jobless.

There has been a drastic fall in production of scraps, plates and other materials due to recent blockade enforced by the BNP-led opposition as the products have remained unsold.

Huge stockpiles of scraps, plates and machineries of the scrapped vessels were found lying unsold in the shipyards and on both sides of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.

The yards could not make supply of their goods due to continuous blockade and intermittent hartals enforced by the opposition parties. The highway, the lifeline of the country as called by the businesspersons, industrialists and traders, has been experiencing incidents of arson attack as vehicles plying at night come under attacks of petrol-bombs by unidentified miscreants.

Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association leaders said that at least 50 truck-loads of scraps and plates of the ship- breaking yards were transported to different areas of the country a day even in the last year. But delivery of goods has come down drastically over the last few weeks while charges for carrying oxygen used in ship cutting and dismantling continue.

The transport fare has almost doubled while the prices of scraps and plates have come down drastically, industry insiders have said adding that the production in the re-rolling mills based on the raw materials from the ship-breaking yards has also remained suspended.

Eighty per cent of the raw materials of the country's re-rolling mills are supplied from the ship- breaking yards, they said.

Sources said the market price of scrap of the ship-breaking yards per kilogram (kg) was Tk 35 to 36 and scrap price per kg was Tk 41 to 42 during last November and December.

But the price of scrap has come down to Tk 30 per kg and that of plates dropped to Tk 37 per kg. On the other hand, the shipyard owners have to buy scrap oil tankers at Tk 40/42 per kg and other scrap vessels at Tk 37/38 per kg.

The ship -breaking yards are counting a financial loss of Tk 10 to 12 per kg on account of purchasing scrap ships, which led many shipyards to close down over the last three years.

The political instability caused by hartal, blockade and other programmes in the country since 2012 has led to closure of as many as 40 shipyards in Sitakunda including 10 shipyards locked up by the loan providing banks as the clients have failed to repay the loans and interests.

Over the last one year (2014) the ship- breaking business ran smoothly in the comparatively calm political situation, but the business becomes highly risky again under the present blockade and hartal programmes, said Abu Taher, president of Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association and owner of Taher & Brothers Shipyard.

As many as 105 ship- breaking yards have been developed in 15 kilometres of the seacoast area of Bhatiary, Madam Bibir Hat, Sonaichari, Kumira and Jore Amtal under Sitakunda upazila.

The industry started its journey with only four shipyards in Fouzderhat area in the upazila in 1980.

The government collects Tk 9.0 billion in revenue annually, sources said, adding that some of the items of the scrap vessels are also exported to some countries.

Source: the financial express. 24 January 2015

Harvey Gulf Outsources IHM to Metizoft

Harvey Gulf has signed a framework agreement with Metizoft on maintenance and quality assurance of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM).

Vessels with IHM documentation must be maintained at all times and reflect the actual ship sailing, according to the requirements of IMO Guidelines - Ship Recycling; MEPC 197 (62). More and more, shipping companies see the need to comply with the more stringent requirements, said Metizoft’s Chief Marketing Officer √ėyvind Sundgot.

"This agreement is one of several benefits of Harvey Gulf`s focus on Health, safety and environment, which also form the basis for system solutions to the company’s vessels,” said Corby Autin, Executive Vice President of QHSSE / HR. “The agreement initially includes 10 vessels in operation, and future newbuildings will be subject to continuous maintenance and quality assurance of documentation at Metizoft. Through the agreement with Metizoft, IHM documentation is maintained according to the current regulations and Metizoft is helping to ensure that we comply with the requirements at all times."

Metizoft noted that more countries have ratified or are at least getting closer to ratifying the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, which addresses the requirements for IHM and makes ship owners responsible for compliance.

"A lot has happened in a short time, and this future requirement that will include all of the world's seagoing vessels above 500 tons deadweight at an earlier stage than some anticipated,” Sundgot said. “The European Union formally adopted the requirement on December 30, 2013, with some adjustments based on IMO - Hong Kong Convention. The new EU Ship Recycling Regulation means that EU-flagged vessels of 500 GT and over will be required to carry an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM). When calling at EU ports, vessels from non-EU countries will also be required to carry an IHM identifying all hazardous materials on board. This means that the maintenance and quality assurance of the documentation is strengthened and it will therefore be very important for owners to have control of this."

Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) requirements state that EU-flagged newbuildings are required to have onboard a verified IHM with a Statement of Compliance at the earliest by December 31, 2015 and at the latest by December 31, 2018. Existing EU-flagged vessels are required to have onboard a verified IHM with a Statement of Compliance at the latest by December 31, 2020 (or if the ship is to be recycled, the IHM should be on board from the date when the European list of ship recycling facilities is published, expected to be by the end of 2016). Non-EU-flagged vessels calling at EU ports are also required to have onboard a verified IHM with a Statement of Compliance at the earliest by December 31, 2020.

A known difference is in the material declarations (MD) for the EU SRR, which will include two additional hazardous materials. PFOS (Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) shall be prohibited. PFOS is chronically toxic, injurious to reproduction, carcinogenic, toxic to aquatic organisms and widely distributed in the global environment. In the marine industry, it can be found in fire-fighting foams of the type AFFF on vessels carrying inflammable fluids and those with helicopter decks, rubber and plastic materials (i.e., cable sheaths, PVC flooring, gaskets and seals) and coatings (i.e., paint). HBCDD (Brominated Flame Retardant) is to be listed in the IHM. HBCDD is very persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic to aquatic organisms; it causes long-term adverse effects on the aquatic environment. It is classified and labelled as dangerous for the environment. In the marine industry, this can be found in expanded polystyrene (EPS) used for cryogenic insulation, such as for liquefied gas tanks (LGT), refrigerated areas, thermal insulation boards (i.e., foam materials), rubber and plastic materials (i.e., cable sheaths, PVC flooring, gaskets, seals) and coatings (i.e., paint).

"There are still a lot of shipping companies that do not know how to handle this, but there is no need to wonder anymore. We have proven on behalf of several major players in the industry that we can handle this. We want to meet the requirements on behalf of ship owners," Sundgot said.

Source: marine link

Scrapping of Kalakala expected to wrap up next week:

The demolition company tearing apart the Kalakala said Friday that, if all goes according to plan, the old ferryboat will be cut to pieces and delivered to a metal salvage yard in about a week.

Crews from Rhine Demolition Inc. are using three long-reach excavators equipped with hydraulic shears to cut the ferry to pieces inside the Concrete Technology graving yard on Tacoma’s Blair Waterway.

The Kalakala will be cut into pieces small enough to fit inside trucks hauling 48-yard debris trailers with 8-foot sides, said Mike Lano Sr., the Rhine manager in charge of structural demolition.

The trucks will carry the salvaged steel 4.5 miles along Port of Tacoma Road and state Route 509 to Schnitzer Steel Industries on the Hylebos Waterway, Lano said.

“I think we’ll be all cleaned up and gone in two weeks,” Lano said Friday. “That includes demolishing the Kalakala and cleaning the site.”

Lano is in charge of the demolition, but his son, Mike Lano Jr., also a Rhine employee, is in charge of the overall project.

The elder Lano said the original plan was to push the ferry onto its side before beginning demolition, but the boat refused to comply. Instead, he said, demolition will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 24) with the boat canted onto its side.

“We really don’t care that much,” he said. “Once you start cutting, it doesn’t make much difference.”

The Kalakala’s distinctive superstructure, which has been compared to a toaster and an Airstream trailer, will be removed first, working from stern to bow.

“Once we get all the superstructure off, we’ll start moving back on the hull,” he said.

The Concrete Technology graving dock is one of the only places in Puget Sound equipped for ship demolition. Strict environmental protocols are being followed to prevent pollution from the ferry from escaping into Puget Sound, Lano said.

Before the Kalakala was floated into the graving dock Thursday morning, the concrete floor of the facility was covered with heavy plastic and all the seams taped with special tape.

The plastic was covered with a layer of filter fabric and then topped with inch-thick steel plates, each 8 feet by 20 feet.

Rainwater that falls during the project will be collected in a sealed pond at one end of the site, Lano said. The water will be periodically pumped into 21,000 gallon tanks hauled to the job site, he said, and then tested for contaminants.

If the water is clean enough, he said, it will be discharged into the sewer system. If not, it will be hauled to a toxic waste site.

Lead paint chips and other solid contaminants will be collected, placed in steel drums and then hauled to an appropriate waste site, Lano said.

Rhine Demolition Inc. officials say they’ve received hundreds of inquiries from people interested in getting their hands on pieces of the Kalakala as mementos.

Mike Lano Sr., who’s running the demolition crew, said Friday the company will do what it can to save choice bits. The job and the demolition schedule will come first, though, he said, and he’s has made only a few promises.

The distinctive rounded pilot house on top of the vessel has been spoken for, he said, and that will be removed separately and set aside.

The arched windows that run along both sides of the superstructure are made of brass, he said, and his crew will cut at least some of those out with torches and saved.

“The propeller is long gone,” Lano said, “but we’ll probably save the rudder for posterity.

“We’re thinking that we like to keep a good image with the public, so if some museum or the Port of Tacoma or somebody is interested, we’ll be happy to work something out with them.”

Lano said he didn’t think the salvage requests would slow the overall process much.

“We have to take it apart anyway,” he said. “But if it gets to be too much work, we’ll just say, ‘To heck with it.’ ”

Source: the news tribune. 23 January 2015

22 January 2015

Shipbreaking rates continue to sink in New Year:

Have the ship demolition markets bottomed out? As with stock and commodity markets, it is very hard to predict the highs to which the shipbreaking market will rise, and the lows to which it will fall.

However, the fact that offers for dry cargo vessels have dropped below the $400 per ldt mark – the lowest they have been for two years – should buttress the feeling that rates have hit the trough, and that they will only improve from this point.

“There was talk of one or two units from existing cash buyer inventories being committed at such lower levels into Bangladesh,” said Dubai-based cash buyer GMS.

“However, there was some positive news to finally cheer onlookers in both India and Pakistan, with the Indian rupee gaining some encouraging ground (by as much as one percentage point) and talk in Pakistan of a 15% duty set to be imposed on incoming steel from abroad.”

GMS felt that the impact of the duty in Pakistan would have positive reverberations around the sub-continent and could spur governments in India and Bangladesh into action as well. “The feeling is that markets may have bottomed out, but this has been said several times in the previous months already, only to see prices fall lower still,” the cash buyer remarked.

All the ship recycling markets on the Indian subcontinent showed a bearish undertone, with bids in India being the best at $425 per ldt for tankers and $400 for dry bulk vessels. Rates were $5 per ldt lower than the Indian levels in both sectors in Bangladesh, while Pakistani bids were a further $5 per ldt adrift from those in Chittagong.

The only demo market where there was optimism was Turkey, where the main fundamentals of pricing seemed to be relatively stable, while several buyers appeared keen to purchase quality units.

Cash buyers were beginning to consider Turkey as a genuine alternative to the Indian subcontinent, willing as they were to compete at prices well above existing market levels. Steel prices had so far not had any significant fluctuations during the first half of January 2015.

There were just a couple of deals struck in the first fortnight of the New Year – both of dry bulk vessels to India, sold with the inducement of a good quantum of bunkers on board.

The 8,085 ldt handy bulker ABM Leader fetched a reasonable $425 per ldt, with 125 tonnes of bunkers thrown in, while the 9,438 ldt panamax bulk carrier The Benefactor was committed for an even more impressive $435 per ldt, with 340 tonnes of bunkers as part of the package deal.

Source: seatrade global.  22 January 2015

20 January 2015

Indian state accepts Alang upgrade loan

The Alang ship recycling facility in Gujarat, India will upgrade 70 ship-breaking yards over the next four years with a $180.28M loan, it has been confirmed.

Speaking to IHS Maritime today, Atul Sharma of the Gujarat Maritime Board said that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide 85% of the funds, with India investing the remaining 15%.

The loan will be repaid over the next 40 years at an interest rate of 1.4%.

A JICA delegation has been in India during 12-13 January to conduct stakeholder meetings, and the proposal is currently being processed by the federal and state governments.

Planned upgrades that will be undertaken through the loan include the construction of a pre-treatment facility for the removal and treatment of hazardous materials (hazmats) from vessels that pose 'special concerns'; and the expansion of the facility's current treatment storage disposal facility (incinerators and oil treatment) to enable 25 tonnes of waste to be incinerated daily.

The hazmat removal dry dock will facilitate the safe removal of both loose and embedded toxic materials such as asbestos from larger passenger ships, ferries, and ro-ro vessels, sludge from oil and chemical tanker cargo holds, and paint chips from older vessels.

Sharma said that any parts removed without being damaged could be reused, such as sheets containing asbestos, or cables and electronic circuits.

Part of the funding will go into the ongoing construction of a housing pilot project that aims to accommodate, in the first phase, 1,000 labourers. A second phase envisages accommodation for up to 5,000 labourers over the next three years. Sharma said that a community school and hall are also planned.

Alang's recycling yards are under constant scrutiny by national and international welfare organisations because of fatal accidents each year. However, at least four yards have completed the first phase of an international standard certification process that would ultimately confirm the yards meet the standards of the International Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

However, the yards claim to be struggling economically. While India reduced basic customs duty on ships imported for breaking from 5% to 2.5% last year, recyclers say they have been unable to break even because of a rise in ship prices and weakening steel demand caused by competition from steel products sold cheaply from China.

Source: 13 January 2015

Bulker scrap prices fall below $400/ldt

The shipbreaking market in South Asia continued its downward spiral last week as bulker prices fell below $400/ldt in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

While there is an ongoing influx of cheap billets from China, Dubai-based cash buyer Global Marketing Systems said a mild strengthening of the rupee against the US dollar, as well as Pakistan's decision to tax imports of Chinese billets could provide support.

Prices for dry vessels are now seeing below $400/ldt and there was talk of one or two units from existing cash buyer inventories being committed at such lower levels into Bangladesh.

"Favoured units will obtain a premium whilst older dry vessels in poor condition will receive much lower levels (now below $400/ldt) and provided there is any interest at all," said GMS.

In India, two bulkers with spare propellers and bunkers fetched higher prices last week.

Malah Maritime Services' 1994-built Handysize bulker ABM Leader fetched $3,431,432 or a decent $425/ldt and Sea Lion Shipmanagement-operated 1986-built Panamax bulker The Benefactor was committed for $4,105,530 or $435/ldt.

The collapse in oil prices and the corresponding drop in bunker prices mean ships can no longer demand high premiums for leftover bunkers upon arriving at the cash buyer.

On the other hand, shipowners have been refraining from selling older vessels due to the slide in scrap prices. Brokers told IHS Maritime that if this persists, cash buyers and scrap yard owners would have to raise their offers to get tonnage.

Source: 12 January 2015

Ship Scrapping Scandal Simmering?

Why would the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) leave $400,000 of the taxpayer’s dollars on the table when it comes to awarding ship recycling contracts? Your guess is as good as mine.

It came to my attention just this week that MARAD had recently (October 2014) awarded a ship recycling contract to a Texas company that bid $400,000 less than a Louisiana company for the exact same vessel and contract. For its part, MARAD says it was operating in the best interest of the government when making this decision. On the other hand, the also-ran bidder – in this case, Southern Recycling – insists that this was anything but the case. Are they sore losers? You decide.

I have been covering the U.S. Maritime Administration and its handling of the nation’s so-called “ghost fleet” vessels for more than a decade. It’s the story that keeps on giving. Actually, MARAD hates the phrase “ghost ships.” That’s because these ships, moored in three different fleets on the East, Gulf and West Coasts, have all seen better days and all eventually will go to the scrap yard to be dismantled. Until that happens, the government is responsible for making sure they stay safely moored, out of harm’s way and that they present no threat to the environment. At this point, they are doing an arguably good job at just that. It wasn’t always that way.

Actually, the responsibility at one point overwhelmed MARAD, both in terms of juggling the documentation and disposal of the vessels, but also in its husbandry of the vessels themselves. Indeed, the MARAD Ship Disposal Program has a long history of exporting federal and U.S. Navy ships for breaking overseas in less-than-acceptable conditions. And, over time, domestic ship recycling firms that participate in the MARAD Ship Disposal Program have had to spend precious resources repeatedly countering MARAD attempts to allow foreign beaches and yards to participate in ship disposal acquisition programs funded by the U.S. taxpayer.

In many places – the most notorious residing in India and Bangladesh, just to name a couple – the practice of shipbreaking created a virtual sweatshop of sorts, where locals literally risk their lives on a daily basis under less than perfect environmental conditions. For this reason, the United States – and other responsible countries – no longer allows the disposal of vessels in this manner.

In fact, firms like Southern Recycling, for example, must be audited and approved, and demonstrate on a daily basis that they operate in not only a safe fashion, but also one which also upholds the strictest of environmental standards. This allows the government to adhere to its own policy of not exporting these vessels, keeping the money and jobs here and generally doing the right thing.

Eventually (October 2014), Southern Recycling protested the awarding of the bid to the other contractor, especially when they were prepared to pay significantly more for that contract and had demonstrated that Southern Recycling facilities were government approved and ready for the task at hand. Within a week of that protest, MARAD had dismissed it out of hand, in a letter to Southern Recycling, citing the firm’s inability to remove the vessel (YELLOWSTONE) in a timely manner.  

The plot also thickens, knowing that U.S. Reps. Vela and Boustany have requested that the DOT IG investigate MARAD's ship recycling program. And now, it appears that the Texas Company that was awarded the contract in December was sued last week by a Canadian company. According to lawsuit documents, the firm borrowed money from the Canadians and then stopped repaying the loan. At this point, says Southern Recycling, the only question left to ask is whether the U.S. government will have to get involved in the lawsuit because the other company leveraged MARAD and Navy ships to get the loan.

If only the government had just taken the extra $400,000. To be fair, MarPro contacted MARAD this week for comment on the matter and, after a fashion, a DOT public affairs officer came back with the following reply:

“MARAD awards vessel dismantlement and recycling contracts based on “best value,” and as required by law, all MARAD-owned vessels must be recycled in the U.S. Best value means that MARAD considers technical factors such as performance schedule, facility capacity, and past performance in addition to price when awarding contracts. As an example, a recycling facility may offer the highest sales price for a ship but, based on their current capacity, and vessel performance schedule, the facility offers a performance period that extends for a year. A second facility offers a lower sales price for the ship, but has current capacity and acceptable vessel performance schedule to recycle the vessel several months faster. In this example, MARAD may consider the shorter performance period a greater value than the higher sale price.”

In response, a Southern Recycling spokeswoman declared, “MARAD's definition of best value is significantly flawed – it deprives the agency beneficiaries of the Vessel Operating Revolving Fund, maritime heritage organizations and state maritime schools of much needed funds and more importantly, it highlights the government's continued inability to properly manage taxpayer resources.”

I for one would have liked to have seen that $400,000 go into the government’s coffers or better yet, go towards the state maritime academies who desperately depend on these revenues in order to continue training the very people MARAD relies upon when it comes to crewing the next sealift emergency event. It will be interesting to see just how fast the vessel really does get dismantled. MarPro will be watching.

In the end, the government’s logic in this matter appears to have hinged on a few months difference in when the vessel could be extracted and delivered to the Southern Recycling disposal yard. But, it’s not like anyone is making any anything on interest on money in the bank, in any event. Beyond this, the urgency of moving these vessels off to scrap has long since evaporated with the departure of the last of what MARAD deemed “high risk” vessels, a long time ago. The deal could have waited 90 days. The Maritime Administration’s primary duty here, so it would seem, is to get best value for these obsolete vessels. And, whatever they tell you, that didn’t happen in this case.

Source: maritime professional.  9 January 2015

Japan pushes for ratification of Hong Kong Convention, ship recyclers agree

India is likely to get help from Japan to improve the facility at Alang-Sosiya ship recycling yard as the Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA) of India on Tuesday agreed to the Japanese condition of adhering to the norms of Hong Kong Convention (HKC), 2009, on the ship recycling industry. The decision was taken at a meeting with a high-level delegation from Japan in Alang, which was also attended by officers of Gujarat Maritime board and other departments of the state government. After around four-hour-long deliberations, SRIA agreed to the offer of help from Japan to help improve facilities at Alang-Sosiya yard, the largest ship breaking yard of the world in terms of number of ships being dismantled.

“Japan can help India if India is ready to ratify the Hong Kong Convention. We can help ship recycling industry of India if India cooperates with the global efforts to put into force the Hong Kong Convention,” said Mitsuhiko Ida, deputy director for maritime bureau in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan.

Ida was leading the 14-member Japanese delegation comprising government officials, shipping industry representatives and industry experts. The group was on a two-day tour of Alang as part of the high-level talks between India and Japan initiated after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan in September last year during which he had showed strong commitment to ship recycling industry.

SRIA secretary Nitin Kanakiya, who was leading the deliberations on behalf of recyclers, responded positively to the proposal. “We have no problem in conforming with the HKC. Majority of norms laid down in the HKC are covered in Ship Recycling Code, 2013 of India. But, in return, we expect technological help from Japan for decontamination of ships after they are beached,” Kanakiya said. Presently, decontamination is done manually and success rate, Kanakiya said, was around 95 per cent.

Talking to The Indian Express after the meeting, Ida said the two counties would work out modalities of helping the recycling industry in the coming months. “We can help Alang in areas of safety (of workers) and environment protection. India accounts for around 30 per cent of recycling industry in the world and is also an important player in international shipping industry. On the other hand, Japan is a leader in ship building and ship owning. China and Turkey do not have the capacity to recycle ships after a limit. Therefore, we want recycling to happen in India. But at the same time, we believe the recycling should be done as per HKC. Therefore, we want to help India in getting HKC ratified,” said Ida.

Keiji Tomoda, chairman of Ship Recycling Cub-Committee of the Japanese Ship Owners’ Association, said it wouldbe a great step if India ratifies HKC. “Japanese companies own 2,000 out of the total 3,000 major ships in the world. Most of the Japanese-owned ships go to China for recycling after their life. But we want to sell end-of-the-life ships to India because India offers better prices than China,” Tomoda said.

Source: Indian express. 14 January 2014

19 January 2015

Rs 1,000 crore push for greener, cleaner Alang:

Alang shipbreaking yard, which had drawn flak for ig noring environment-friendly practices, will get a major boost with Japan committing Rs1,000 crore for development of the facility according to international green standards.

The Japan government will extend Rs1,000 crore as soft loan to the Gujarat government at an interest rate of 1.4% and repayable in 40 years, official sources said.

The officials said that the funding is aimed at making Alang fully capable of handling all the hazardous waste that comes from vessels brought for dismantling. Moreover, Japan accounts for nearly 30% of the shipping business globally and in the upcoming years, many of its ageing ships can be brought to Alang for dismantling.

The funding will be used in three areas -constructing a dry dock, upgrading the existing plots to make them more environment friendly and upgrading the capacity of the present TSDF site where the incinerator has a capacity of five tones per day. "The dry dock will enable the clean-up of `special concern' vessels, those which carry large amount of contaminated waste like asbestos.The waste thus generated will be treated in the TSDF (Treatment Storage Disposal Facility) site," said Atul Sharma, deputy general manager (environment cell), Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).

Around Rs 150 crore will also be used for enhancing facilities of the labourers working at shipbreaking plots. "This partnership will not only enhance advanced environment management at our ports but will also boost the business at Alang, re-establishing it as the hub of ship recycling in the world," said A K Rakesh, chief executive officer, GMB.

"Once Alang confirms to all the environment rules, it is expected that even the developed countries will start sending their vessels for dismantling here, thus boosting the business. Alang will also become capable to recycle nearly 50% of global shipbreaking business volume," said Sharma.

Japan team to visit Alang on Jan 12

A high-level 14-member delegation from Japan will embark on a study visit to Alang and Sosiya ship-breaking yards on January 12. The delegation will consist of government officials from the ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism as well as consultants, ship owners and relevant stakeholders in the maritime and shipbreaking industry.

Source: times of india. 10 January 2015

Japan to Help Boost Indian Ship Recycling

Japan may help India in boosting the country's ship recycling industry. It is learnt that a 14-member Japanese delegation comprising representatives from government departments and shipping industry association, who visited Alang-Sosiya ship recycling yard in Bhavnagar (Gujarat, India) expressed its willingness to aid improving the facility there.

The Ship Recycling Yard at Alang located near Bhavnagar in Gujarat State on the western coast of Gulf of Cambay is claimed to be the largest ship recycling yard in the world, in terms of number of ships being dismantled.

The Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA) of India on Tuesday agreed to the Japanese condition of adhering to the norms of Hong Kong Convention (HKC), 2009, on the ship recycling industry.

Indian Express, a prominent newspaper in the country quoted Mitsuhiko Ida, deputy director for maritime bureau in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, saying that Japan can help India if India is ready to ratify the Hong Kong Convention. Japan can help ship recycling industry of India if India cooperates with the global efforts to put into force the Hong Kong Convention.

SRIA secretary Nitin Kanakiya said that the association has no problem in conforming to the HKC. Majority of norms laid down in the HKC are covered in Ship Recycling Code, 2013 of India. But, in return, SRIA expects technological help from Japan for decontamination of ships after they are beached.

Japan has a huge shipbuilding industry but due to environmental concerns, it sends its decommissioned ships to China. Given the change in diplomatic environment, this visit by the Japanese delegation is important to India.

Ship Recycling Industries Association India is an organization for Ship Recyclers in Alang/Sosiya, Bhavnagar, Gujarat. Alang is the world's largest ship demolition or ship breaking yard. Vessels that are no longer capable for plying are scraped/recycled/demolished at Alang.

Source: marine link. 14 January 2014

Shipbreaking at Alang in line for major facelift

India: The Alang ship recycling hub in Gujarat, India, will upgrade 70 shipbreaking yards over the next four years thanks to a US$ 180 million loan, IHS Maritime has reported.

According to Atul Sharma of the Gujarat Maritime Board, some 85% of the funds will be provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), with India investing the remaining 15%. Currently being processed by federal and state governments, the proposal envisages that the loan will be repaid over 40 years at an interest rate of 1.4%.

Planned upgrades will cover: the construction of a pre-treatment facility for the removal and treatment of those hazardous materials from ships that raise 'special concerns'; and expansion of the current treatment storage disposal facility such that it will be possible for 25 tonnes of waste to be incinerated daily.

According to Sharma, part of the funding will benefit the ongoing construction of a pilot housing project to accommodate 1000 labourers at first and up to 5000 workers over the next three years.

Thus far, four of Alang's recycling yards have completed the first phase of an international standard certification process. Once approved, the yards will officially meet the standards of the International Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

'Japanese companies own 2000 out of the total 3000 major ships in the world' points out Keiji Tomoda, chairman of the Ship Recycling Sub-Committee of the Japanese Ship Owners' Association. 'Most of the Japanese-owned ships go to China for recycling after their life. But we want to sell end-of-life ships to India because India offers better prices than China.'

Source: recycling international. 15 January 2014

The Naval Carrier From Top Gun Is About to Be Broken Up for Scrap

Previous attempts to preserve it have failed through lack of funding

A last-ditch online campaign has been launched to try and save a naval carrier that appeared in the movie Top Gun.

The supercarrier U.S.S. Ranger was decommissioned in 1993 after 35 years of service, USA Today reports.

Now a California-based company has set up a social-media campaign and online petition to try to persuade the navy against scrapping the carrier.

Top Gun Super Carrier of Long Beach Inc. wants to acquire the ship, and moor it in Long Beach harbor as a museum and event space.

“If you think about what we can bring to it, an economic boon to the city of Long Beach, it’s a no-brainer,” said project manager Mike Shanahan.

A naval spokesman told USA Today that the navy would like to see the ship preserved but previous efforts to turn the Ranger into a museum have failed, and the carrier was sold to International Shipbreaking last year.

Source: 16 January 2014

CMES orders VLCC

Shanghai: China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) has announced that is has signed, via a subsidiary, a shipbuilding contract with Dalian Shipbuilding Industry (DSIC) for the construction of a 319,000dwt VLCC.

Delivery of the vessel is schedule in September 2017.

CMES is currently optimizing the fleet to take advantage of the favourable central government policy for ship scrapping. It has ordered five VLCCs at DSIC and Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding in September and one VLCC at DSIC in December.

Source: sino ship news. 16 January 2014

Lindenau’s Concept: Waste Recycling Ships

Millions of tons of waste reach the oceans each year, causing the sea to become the planet’s largest garbage depot, as inadequate or nonexistent waste management systems – particularly in coastal and island communities – enable massive patches of marine debris to form around the globe.

In an effort to end this process ashore and in the seas, German entrepreneur and shipbuilder Dirk Lindeau, backed by a group of German specialists and funded by the German federal foundation of environment DBU, has produced a Waste-Recycling-Ship (WRS) concept that aims to provide an efficient, economical and sustainable waste management solution for islands as well as large coastal and river cities.

The team intends to implement German waste recycling technologies aboard ships converted at a Kiel, Germany, shipyard to collect, process and recycle waste on board in a safe, economical and environmentally friendly manner.

According to Lindeau, it is often not possible to install modern waste treatment plants on islands and coast areas for a number of economical, geographical or logistical reasons. A feasibility study on the Maldives Islands promoted by DBU found that the goals of the ship concept – regulatory management and collection of wastes, the separation of the wastes on board, and utilization of the materials as resources – are particularly effective for these states, enabling waste management to be performed when not otherwise possible.

The ship-bound solution aims to systematically collect waste and separate it on board during loading, travel and unloading. Waste can then be handled on board through mechanical and biological treatment technology to produce secondary raw materials and energy through three main fraction groups, further contributing to the concept’s proposed sustainability.

The organic fraction group is converted by fermentation process into compost and biogas, which is then converted in a gas-operated power heat coupling plant to electric power and heat.

The light fraction group, converted similarly in a power heat coupling plant to electric power and heat, can be used to produce clean water, compost and electricity from waste resources.
Lastly, the heavy fraction group will load metal, electronic components and materials, etc. into containers to be sold for recycling.

Source: marine link. 14 January 2014

Nigeria: 'Shipping Must Adopt Can-Do Attitude in 2015'

UNITED Kingdom firm, Moore Stephens has identifies positive approach as the best attitude to tackle the challenges of 2015.

According to Moore Stephens, shipping needs to adopt a can-do attitude in order to successfully meet the challenges, which are likely to come its way in 2015.

Moore Stephens shipping partner Richard Greiner said: "Shipping confidence started 2014 on a six-year high and ended it on a two-year low. It is difficult to predict with any certainty what the next 12 months will bring, beyond further uncertainty. To paraphrase an old adage, shipping goes into 2015 needing to accept the things it cannot change, to change the things it can change, and to make sure it understands the difference between the two.

"Top of the list of things which shipping cannot change is the relentless march of regulation. In 2015, this will assume still more onerous proportions with the inception of new regulations governing Emissions Control Areas, and a further step towards ratification of the BWT Convention.

"Overtonnaging, meanwhile, is top of the list of things which shipping can change. Accelerated scrapping is needed, together with an acknowledgement that there are already too many ships on the market and that, absent some form of rationalisation, freight rates will not pay the bills.

"One area where shipping can demonstrate that it knows the difference between what it can and cannot change is in its attitude to private equity. Does private equity not know what the rest of us know, or does it know something the rest of us do not? Rather than bemoaning the short-term commitment of private equity, shipping should be looking to tick the boxes, which attract such investors.

"Operating costs will go up in 2015, along with the cost of regulation, while it would be no surprise if oil prices were to go up faster than freight rates over the course of the year. Environmentalists will be happier with shipping. There will be increased interest in risk management, without which there will be still more new building disputes of the type currently sitting on the desks of arbitrators, and more companies following the unhappy route into bankruptcy taken at the end of last year by OW Bunker."

Greiner added: "Shipping embarks on a new year with confidence in a fragile state. The industry is volatile, and will be looking for improved political stability and a stronger global economy. But it should not underestimate its proven ability to endure throughout crises. The biggest danger may lie not in setting the targets too high and falling short, but in setting the targets too low and achieving them."

The year 2014 saw the International Maritime Organization (IMO) actively pursuing its targets and objectives in a wide range of subject areas. In these pages we present some of the highlights of what was a busy, varied and successful year for the Organization.

Safety remained a high priority during 2014. IMO adopted the safety provisions of the Polar Code and SOLAS amendments to make it mandatory. Also adopted were important measures addressing container safety and enclosed space entry drills. Several amendments entered into force during the year. Domestic ferry safety was also a topic of concern.

2014 proved a busy and productive year for IMO on the environmental front. Among the highlights were the adoption of the environmental provisions of the Polar Code and the entry into force of the Emission Control Area for the United States and Caribbean Sea. Further progress was also made on extending and developing energy efficiency measures for ships.

IMO joined other UN bodies in calling for action to address irregular maritime migration, an increasing problem from the point of view of loss of life at sea as well as a burden on shipping. The Facilitation Committee moved forward on e-business and the single window concept, approving a completely revised Annex to the FAL Convention, while the Facilitation and Maritime safety Committees agreed to look into cyber security. Action against piracy and armed robbery against ships remained a high priority off the coasts of Africa.

IMO was involved in a series of capacity-building projects across the globe including ship recycling, energy efficiency, counter-piracy and stowaways.

Source: all Africa. 14 January 2015

PSBA lauds 15pc duty on import of steel billets, bars, wire rods:

KARACHI - The Pakistan Ship Breakers Association (PSBA) has welcomed the levy of 15 per cent regulatory duty on the import of all steel billets, steel bars and wire rods.

Since the past year, steel billets, wire rod and steel bars were being flooded into the Pakistan market by way of dumping from abroad.

This made the local industry unviable and therefore one of the local steel manufacturing sectors i.e. wire rod industry had totally shut down.

Dewan Rizwan Farooqi, Chairman PSBA, stated “Since 2010, the ship breaking industry has been providing 1.

2 million tons of steel raw materials annually to the re-rolling, wire rod and steel melting industry.

The ship breaking industry though massive capital investments has ramped up its ability to cater to Pakistan’s down stream industries by taking its annual capacity from 150,000 mt per annum in 2007 to 1.

2 million tons per annum in 2010.

This has allowed the ship breaking industry to provide the Balochistan province and the Government of Pakistan with much needed revenue in the tune of Rs 11 billion annually.

“We are grateful to the Government of Pakistan in saving Balochistan’s largest industry from collapse and we hope we can continue to play a key role in job creation and revenue generation for Pakistan.”

Industry analysts claim that the ship breaking industry plays a key role in job creation as downstream cottage industries have developed in turn creating livelihood opportunities for more than quarter million people in Pakistan.

This move by the government will help in bringing some stability to the local market and curbing revenue drain while providing a level playing field for the local steel sector.

The Pakistan Shipbreakers Association salutes the Government of Pakistan for this bold move which has helped save hundreds of thousands of jobs as well as the local steel industry.

We believe that this will not only strengthen revenue collection for the government but will also show the governments commitment to supporting local industries.

The Pakistani ship breaking industry is the country’s largest steel raw material supplier to the re-rolling and wire rod industry.

The ship breaking industry has invested over 20 billion rupees in the Balochistan province during the last 5 years and is also the highest revenue contributor from the steel sector in Balochistan.

Source: 15 January 2014