27 May 2015

Shipbreaking The Trend In 2015 So Far:

There has been a firm level of demolition activity in the first four months of 2015 and the two largest owner regions, Asia/Pacific and Europe account for 88% of the tonnage sold for recycling. Whilst the Indian Sub-Continent remains the main demolition destination, recent activity has seen Bangladeshi breakers take the lead. This month, we take a closer look at the country trends behind global demolition.

Busting The Bulk
The world fleet has seen elevated levels of ship recycling in recent years with an average of 27.2m GT reported sold for demolition between 2009 and 2014.

Prior to this, the shipping boom limited demolition activity and an average of 5.7m GT was scrapped between 2005 and 2008. In 2015 so far, a reported 346 vessels of 10.8m GT have been sold for recycling. On an annualised basis, this is an increase of 43% in terms of GT. This has been driven by a surge in bulker demolition, particularly Capesize vessels, in response to historically low earnings and fleet oversupply. Bulkers account for 74% of tonnage reported scrapped in the ytd.

Who’s Driving Demolition?
With the two largest fleets, European and Asia/Pacific owners have accounted for 70-85% of demolition volumes over the last decade. European owners have generally recycled the largest volume of tonnage but more recently, Asia/Pacific owners have matched European demolition volumes and last year they scrapped 4.1m GT more than European owners (11.7m GT), accounting for over half of global demolition (52%). In the ytd, Asia/Pacific owners are reported to have sold 4.8m GT for demolition compared to European owners’ 4.0m GT. This is largely a result of Chinese demolition activity, boosted by the government’s domestic scrap subsidy. Chinese owners demolished a record 6.7m GT last year, equivalent to 30% of the global total, and they are reported to have sold 2.2m GT for scrap in 2015 so far. Meanwhile, South Korean owners have scrapped 0.9m GT in the ytd, equivalent to 5% of their start year fleet on an annualised basis. 

Elsewhere, the Greeks are typically the most active European owners in the demolition market and account for 54% of the region’s ytd demolition (2.2m GT) compared to a 39% share last year. 

German demolition volumes have risen in recent years and alongside Norwegian owners, they have scrapped a reported 0.4m GT each in the ytd – 20% of the region’s total.


Bangladesh At The Front?
The majority of tonnage is demolished in the Indian Sub-Continent and in the ytd Bangladeshi breakers have scrapped a reported 3.2m GT, 30% of the global total. This compares to 1.9m GT reported demolished in India and is the first time that Bangladeshi breakers have taken the lead since 2009. Firm bulker scrapping has boosted Bangladeshi volumes, representing 88% of the country’s demolition in the ytd. Further, recycling activity in India has been limited by currency volatility and a weak steel market.

So, Asia/Pacific owners have taken the lead in demolition but their European counterparts aren’t too far behind. Strong Chinese demolition volumes largely explain this shift. Meanwhile, Bangladeshi shipbreakers have scrapped the largest volume of tonnage in the ytd.

Source: Hellenic shipping news.

Ship recycling sales slow:

Ship recycling sales slowed last week as shipowners and cash buyers refrained from yielding to the falling prices in the face of a deluge of Capesize bulkers being offered for sale.

No sales were reported last week, while prices remained steady at USD370-395/ldt in South Asia.

Dubai-based cash buyer Global Marketing Systems (GMS) said that the South Asian monsoon season, running from June to end of August, is expected to discourage sales too, especially given the volume of Capesize bulkers delivered into both Bangladesh and Pakistan of late.

GMS said, "Capacity in India remains excellent, with 60% of the yards empty and desperate to take tonnage at the right price. The problem is that while local fundamentals continue to remain temperamental, very few end users remain keen to dip back into the market until a sustained period of stability is seen.

"As such, whether they see it or not, now may be the ideal time for end buyers to acquire vessels once again, especially if prices are considered to have bottomed out and will only improve going into the fourth quarter of the year [as is traditional]. Moreover, if owners and cash buyers are willing to sell at present rates, there could be a bargain or two available."

IHS Maritime data show that year to date, 50 Capesizes have been torched while another 12 have been sold for recycling.

The Baltic Dry Index's fall to a historic low in February and the subsequent lacklustre freight market have compelled shipowners to dispose unprofitable and older tonnage.

Source: ihs maritime 360. 26 May 2015

Steel-melting & ship-breaking industry: PSRMA highlights Malpractices:

The Pakistan Steel Re-Rolling Mills Association in a press release on Friday highlighted the practices adopted by steel melting industry and ship breaking industry to make exorbitant profits. PSRMA members are ultimate user of the products made by melting industry which is ingots and billets and ship plates obtained from breaking vessels. From these raw materials, steel re rollers make bars used for construction, angles, channels, girders and other construction steel products.

These two industries ie melting and ship breaking, who are in hand in hand internally and show that they are rivals to the general public, make hue and cry unnecessarily and urge government to stop import of quality raw material at an affordable price. The other raw materials that can be used in re rolling industry are imported billets and re rollable scrap, but they after making cartel are making arrangements with FBR that imported material, on which the re roller pay more taxes than these two groups, are fully documented, increase in revenue for government, perfect standard quality and easily available from across the world should be blocked and made that expensive that the re roller will pay for their in efficiencies and they make exorbitant profits.

In a recent development to blackmail the government, the ship breakers in a meeting held at their office stopped all deliveries to re rolling mills so that they can blackmail and harass re rollers who have no option left but to buy from them only at their terms and conditions and price as their justified source of raw material which is imported billet and re rollable scrap are made so expensive due to introduction of regulatory duty and other malafide news in media and their mills are on the verge of closure due to non-supply of ship plates from ship breakers and melting industry. PSRMA urge FPCCI, FBR, Finance Ministry and Ministry of Industries to take notice of these malpractices being done by steel melting and ship breaking industry. The PSRMA has also approached competitive competition in this context as well.

Source: Business Recorder. 23 May 2015

24 May 2015

Captain John’s is readied for its final voyage:

John Letnik walks on the deck of his decaying floating restaurant and banquet hall.

It’s expected to be a waterfront spectacle as defunct seafood restaurant is towed from its long-time home

Almost every day this week, “Captain” John Letnik has made a heart-wrenching pilgrimage to the foot of Yonge St. to watch his life’s work being dismantled, bit by rusting bit.

The iconic Captain John’s Seafood Harbour Boat Restaurant sign that stood for decades on the aged bow of the waterfront landmark, the Jadran, was lifted down by crane on Wednesday.

The gangplank that used to welcome businessmen and, later, busloads of tourists onto the former

Mediterranean cruise ship is now gone. So are the twin anchors of the 90-metre ship.

Even the tattered Canadian flag has been removed from the upper deck and replaced with a snappy new flying ad for Marine Recycling Corporation, the Port Colborne ship scrapping company that will guide the Jadran to its final resting place starting next Tuesday morning — weather, wind and waves permitting.

“People say to me, ‘How can you take it?’ But the ship and the restaurant were part of me. I invested my life inside that ship,” says Letnik, 76.

One thing remains connected and, strangely, still working — the restaurant’s reservations line. It dates back to 1976 when the city’s first floating restaurant, on what was then a desolate stretch of Toronto waterfront, threw open its doors on what was considered, at the time, a fine-dining experience.

“People are still calling, leaving messages,” says Letnik. “Some are saying the foot of Yonge St. won’t look the same without Captain John’s. Others are saying it’s time for Captain John’s to go.
“I guess I’m going to have to have that removed.”

So much of the ship — and its long history — is already gone.

Letnik has spent the last three years, since public health officials shut off water to the ship and civic officials shut down the business over unpaid back taxes and other fees, slowly removing anything of value.

Sadly, that’s included most of the brass fittings and elaborately carved wood panels that have graced the former luxury cruiser since it was first built in the former Yugoslavia back in 1957. It would later go on to become the private ocean-going getaway for former president Josip Broz Tito and his entourage.

When Letnik bought the ship back in 1975 for $875,000 (U.S.), it came with a statue of Tito, as well as fine linens and bedding in its 355 guest cabins. Letnik donated all of it to Adriatic-based shipping company Jadrolinija Rijeka as part of the deal.

It took more than 15 days and a crew of 16 to navigate the ship across the North Atlantic from Pula, Yugoslavia to Toronto.

“It was quite stormy. For three days we spent more time under the water than on top of it,” said Letnik. “She would pitch 45 degrees and then roll.”

When they finally arrived in Toronto in November of 1975, a crowd of 150 civic officials and curious onlookers were there to greet the ship as it eased into the Queen’s Quay slip where it would become a pioneering attraction on a waterfront that, back then, had little else to offer.

Letnik would spend some $3 million installing insulation, new wiring and a new kitchen where he would man the decks on a dream that thrived through the 80s but crashed onto the rocks during the 1990s recession.

Until the downturn, a sizable list of the Who’s Who of Toronto’s business elite had their own tables and would make the ship a regular stop for Letnik’s trademark clam chowder or drinks on the deck.

The CHIN bikini contest got its start there in 1976 before outgrowing Captain John’s two years later and heading for Toronto Island. The novel floating restaurant — which offered one of the best views of the city next to the recently opened CN Tower — was the unique go-to place for bar mitzvah’s, Christmas parties, visiting relatives.

Letnik’s daughter, Denise, got married on the ship in 1994, as did many other couples over the years.

As late as a week ago, when Letnik did a final, nostalgic and teary-eyed walk around the Jadran’s battered and duct-taped decks, the thank you note and picture from Dan and Anna Sprague’s September 3, 2006 wedding remained tacked on the wall of his dishevelled office.

“Our wish to be married on the deck came true!”

Even as debts mounted, Letnik struggled to keep the business going: At last count, he owes well over $1.7 million in realty taxes, berthing fees and mortgages.

Much of the history of the Jadran — from brass lights to massive rope cleats — now sits on the lawn of a low-rise Scarborough apartment building that Letnik still owns. He’s now living in a basement unit after years in the top deck Captain’s Quarters of the Jadran.

Letnik’s last hope is that Marine Recycling will honour its promise to reserve a spot for him on the ship as it makes its final journey.

“It’s not going to be easy leaving the ship in Port Colborne. But I understand that its time is up.”

Source: the star.

GMS Warns E.U. on Beaching Ban


GMS has called upon the European Commission to think carefully before banning beaching as an option for recycling European ships following the very positive study visits by a Japanese delegation and representatives from the Danish Shipping Association (DSA) to shipyards in Alang.

The improvements made by some of the yards have led to a rise in standards to ensure compliance with the forthcoming Hong Kong Convention. The DSA is on record as saying in an article on its website that: “We consequently saw, among other things, workers wearing safety equipment and undergoing six-monthly routine medical check-ups.

“We also noted that the shipyards were engaged in operations such as asbestos handling, and regularly compiled reports from water and soil pollution tests etc. Finally, we were able to personally observe that three of the shipyards had laid a concrete base beneath the beach to stop seepage of harmful substances.”

A beaching ban by the European Commission will be counterproductive as it would discourage improvements in the ship recycling industries of South Asia.

Firstly, it will mean that E.U. flagged ships will be able to be recycled only in Turkey and China. The Turkish recycling market has a finite capacity with only 20 small yards and China’s demand for steel from recycled ships varies greatly year to year. Currently there is little demand in China for scrap steel and there has not been for about a year and a half.  This situation will undoubtedly lead to some E.U. flagged ships changing flag to register with states where no such ban is imposed to allow them a realistic choice of recycling destinations.

Secondly, prices will also be severely affected as E.U. registered ships forced to deal with only Turkish yards could face a collapse in value. Traditionally, southern Asian prices have been higher by about 40-60 percent than in Turkey and China due to the higher demand and value for ship steel, machinery, equipment, spares and ancillary items. Incidentally, most of these items are re-used; a more environmentally friendly option.   

Banning beaching will only discourage other yards in the region from raising standards, thereby destroying the current ‘virtuous circle’ of improvements among shipyard owners in Alang.

If all yards in India are excluded from European approval, regardless of the improvements they have made in their infrastructure and work procedures, they will have no interest whatsoever to support their government’s ratification of the Hong Kong Convention.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, for the European Commission to base its decision on beaching on secondary data (instead of primary investigation) is illogical. There is no reasonable justification for the European Commission to punish its own members without thorough analysis.  

So for these reasons GMS urges the Commission to see for themselves the improvements that have been made by some of the shipyards in Alang and is happy to extend an open invitation to officials from the Commission, and to officials from E.U. member states responsible for ship recycling.

“The last visit by officials from the EU was back in 2009 and much has changed for the better since then. It would be a travesty of justice now that yard owners in Alang are making huge improvements to working conditions for the EU to make a decision without seeing for themselves the positive changes made in the region. GMS would be happy to organize such a visit,” said Dr Anil Sharma founder and CEO of GMS.

Source: maritime executive. 22 May 2015

20 May 2015

GMS launches new website:

The world’s largest buyer of ships, GMS, has launched a new and improved website to provide a better user experience for visitors to its web pages.

Enhancements include links to the GMS twitter and Facebook accounts plus a regular blog that includes articles, events and news affecting the ship recycling industry.

An ‘In the News’ section lists press releases and editorial regarding GMS and current news stories about the recycling industry. Visitors to the site will also be able to subscribe to the ‘GMS Weekly, ‘ the longest and one of the most quoted newsletters in the ship recycling industry.

Navigation around the site has been improved and the overall design has been updated to reflect modern trends. The site also features an easy to complete online form for ship owners who want a quote for selling a vessel.

Details on how the new GMS app can be downloaded are detailed upon entering the site and all the GMS locations are itemised in the ‘Contact Us’ section including a list of public holidays for each area.

Founder and CEO Dr Anil Sharma said: “Updating our website was important to ensure all our clients and prospects have access to the most up to date information about our services and global reach. We have also improved the overall look and feel of the site making it quick and easy for visitors to access the specific information they want within a couple of clicks.”

Source: hellenic shipping news. 19 May 2015

19 May 2015

Ship launches still outpace scrapping, despite bulker orders crash:

Shipping sector sources have been trying to drum up optimism this month over the impact that the rise in dry ship demolitions and decline in new orders since January could have on the persistently bearish dry freight market. But with bulker demolitions still outnumbered by new ship deliveries, and demand for commodities set to remain subdued, many believe a balance in the market will take several years to achieve.

BIMCO, a Denmark-based shipowner association, said May 7 that 2015 could soon become a record year for scrapping dry Capesize vessels. With 52 sold for demolition in its first four months, 2015 is getting close to breaking the record of 70 Capesizes demolished in 2012, the association added. In 2014, only 25 were scrapped.

“Although increasing scrapping was expected, the actual development exceeded BIMCO’s expectations. This could have a positive impact on the market,” said BIMCO Chief Shipping Analyst Peter Sand.

However, though scrapping bigger ships eats away a big chunk of the world’s dry capacity and “looks good on paper,” Capesizes “tend to trade on contracts, not so much on spot,” a shipbroker said. Therefore, “scrapping more Capes will not necessarily make a dent in the number of ships playing spot,” he added.

Greek broker Intermodal said May 12 that the rise in Capesize demolitions was partly due to second-hand prices for older Capes falling and nearing scrap value. This suggests that Capesize owners are scrapping them because “it makes financial sense,” not because they want to “do their bit” for slimming down the world’s dry fleet, another source said.

According to BIMCO, dry Handysize and Handymax demolitions also were up on the year in January-April 2015, by 34% and 79% respectively. Also, 2.6 million dwt of Panamax capacity was scrapped in the same period, compared with 4.8 million dwt in all of 2014. But sources pointed out that barely any dry Supramax vessels went for demolition, while scrapping was still outpaced by the delivery of new vessels.

Athens-based Allied Shipbroking said this week that, while the dry fleet’s pace of growth slowed down in January-April 2015, the impact of demolitions was offset by the amount of new vessels being delivered.

January-April 2015 saw 241 new vessels delivered, but with 177 vessels sold for demolition during the same period, this added 64 ships to the world’s dry tonnage list.

“This will continue to happen while owners hesitate to scrap mid-sized ships, like Supras and Panamaxes,” said a broker.

Such hesitance was partly due to many mid-sized ships being barely 10 years old, the broker added. For example, according to Greek sale-and-purchase shipbroker Golden Destiny, 2015 began with 85% of the world’s dry Supramax fleet of 1,992 ships being no more than 10 years old. Overall, 66.7% of the world’s dry bulk fleet has been built since the start of the millennium, Golden Destiny data showed.

Owners also held back from scrapping because some of them held on to tonnage they regarded as assets, sources said.

According to a Piraeus-based broker, with ship values currently at very low levels, an owner “will buy a unit at, say, $10 million, hoping that when the market recovers, he will sell at $30 million. You can even buy now a 15-year-old Panamax at about $5 million. That’s where the big bet is.”

According to another broker: “There are many cash-rich owners, many of them Greek, who can do this, and keep these vessels in the water, not minding the cheap freight rates.”

NEW ORDERS COLLAPSE But while bulker demolitions are still outpaced by new deliveries, Clarksons Research joined the positive drill team on May 8 saying that the first four months of 2015 marked a steep decline in new orders being placed with shipyards. January-April 2015 saw dry bulk orders fall to 0.4 million dwt per month, the lowest levels since the 1990s, it said.

“This is a massive 98% reduction from the 23 million dwt peak in orders in December 2007, and probably the sharpest decline in recent decades,” Clarksons Research said. “Not really a surprise in a market where Capesize bulkers are struggling to earn $4,000/day, but a timely relief to investors with ships on the orderbook.”

But, it pointed out, despite the onset of the global downturn in 2008, the dry freight market saw two vessel order spikes in 2010 and 2013. This, it said, was “hard to explain…on strictly economic grounds” when considering that the world was already dealing with a significant surplus of dry tonnage and China’s growth engine was easing off.

On the back of these spikes, plenty of new vessels are due for delivery in coming years, with Golden Destiny estimates showing 1,066 bulkers due for delivery in 2015, 732 in 2016 and 184 in 2017.
As a result, the market will have to wait until the end of this decade for the effect of this year’s sharp decline in new orders to be felt, with Goldman Sachs predicting May 7 that “the current order books will ensure that shipping capacity continues to grow until 2017, when vessel retirements will finally outweigh new deliveries.”

Source: Hellenic shipping news. 18 May 2015

18 May 2015

Shipbreaking market slow with falling prices:

The sale of ships for recycling slowed last week as more shipowners refused to accept anything less than USD400 per ldt for their vessels.

The deluge of Capesizes and other dry bulk carriers being offered for scrap has forced prices down as scrap yards began exploiting the situation.

Prices are hovering at USD365-370 per ldt for bulkers in South Asia, as the depressed freight market compels owners to offload older ships.

The only reported sale last week was that of Enterprises Shipping & Trading's 1994-built Panamax bulker Bergen Max, which fetched USD3.99 million or USD380 per ldt for recycling in Pakistan.

Dubai-based Global Marketing Systems (GMS), the world's biggest cash buyer, said demand from scrap yards remains almost non-existent, while Indian steel plate prices have suffered yet another week of depreciation in all Indian sub-continent markets.

The national budgets in both Pakistan and Bangladesh at the start of June have been two eagerly anticipated events, but nothing much has (historically) materialised to adversely affect the respective ship recycling industry.

GMS said, "However, time and again, scrap yards have preferred to negotiate on vessels arriving before national budgets are set, in the unlikely event that new taxes or duties are imposed upon the ship recycling sector, which would affect the profitability of their deals."

The impending South Asian monsoon season is also expected to make the period between June and August quiet, especially if prices remain below the USD400 per ldt mark.

GMS said, "Indeed many owners are simply choosing to lay up their vessels, as evidenced by the number of candidates idling just off Singapore at the moment."

Source: ihs maritime  360. 18 May 2015

Scrap War: US May Compete Nuclear Ship Disposal Deal

WASHINGTON — All nuclear-powered US Navy ships go to die at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. That's been an immutable mantra since the early 1990s, when the shipyard developed a recycling plan to dispose of old submarines and cruisers that were piling up as they reached the end of their lives.

Under the shipyard's direction, shipboard nuclear reactors are defueled, the reactor vessels and their compartments are removed, encased and barged to the federal government's Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southern Washington State, and the ships' remains are cut up for scrap and recycling. The program has successfully disposed of more than 100 nuclear submarines and eight nuclear cruisers.

As the only US-certified facility with experience recycling nuclear ships, the plan has long been that, sometime in early 2017, Puget Sound would take on its largest disposal job by far — that of the aircraft carrier Enterprise, one of the most famous ships of the Cold War era.

But now, the Navy is considering throwing open the job to commercial bidders — a clear break from prior practice that could open the nuclear ship-disposal world to more competition.

It is not clear exactly what is driving the move, which was announced in May 2014 when Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) published a request for information (RFI) soliciting ideas on how the Enterprise's "non-propulsion sections" — that is, everything but the ship's reactors and propulsion machinery — could be dismantled. A subsequent industry day in June, according to two persons who attended, was as much about the Navy listening to industry's ideas as providing further information.

The Navy refused to discuss the situation or provide further context for this report, declining repeated requests to do so. But NAVSEA, in a tersely-worded written statement, confirmed the issue is still open.

"To ensure the best use of resources, the Navy is currently looking at options for recycling of USS Enterprise (CVN 65), including the possibility of commercial recycling," NAVSEA said May 4 in the statement. "All reactor compartments and radioactive systems will be disposed of by [Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Intermediate Maintenance Facility]. No final decisions have been made."

But in discussions with non-Navy sources familiar with various aspects of the situation, it appears that two factors are driving the interest in opening the Enterprise job to commercial bidders. First and possibly foremost, several sources reported the Navy was unhappy with the high cost put forth by the naval shipyard to do the job – which includes towing the Enterprise nearly 14,000 nautical miles from Virginia around South America to Puget Sound. Reportedly, the estimated cost far exceeds funds budgeted for the move.

Another issue seems to be that of capacity at Puget Sound. The shipyard is the primary carrier overhaul facility on the northwest Pacific coast, and it's known to be quite busy tending to the fleet's active ships. The facility also has a backlog of nuclear ships on its waterfront awaiting recycling, including a dozen inactivated Los Angeles-class submarines and the cut-down hulk of the nuclear cruiser Long Beach.

The Enterprise being moved on May 2 to a drydock at
The Enterprise being moved on May 2 to a drydock at Newport News Shipbuilding, Virginia. (Photo: Dar Deerfield-Mook/Newport News Shipbuilding)

Enterprise is at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) in Newport News, Virginia — the same yard that built the Big E from 1957 to 1961. The ship was taken to the yard from nearby Norfolk Naval Base in 2013 for defueling and stripping, part of a workload carefully choreographed between Newport News and Puget Sound. Negotiations, for example, included whether the island superstructure giving the ship its famous profile would be taken off in Virginia or remain in place for the transcontinental tow. Puget Sound reportedly insisted the ship arrive at Bremerton looking as much like her old self as possible, and the island is to remain in place.

And while Newport News is primarily concerned with building and overhauling nuclear carriers and submarines, stripping and defueling the world's first nuclear carrier is a major job, with about 1,100 people across the yard working on the ship.

Newport News has said for some time that it is well-positioned to completely dispose of the Enterprise, being the only shipyard in the US that builds nuclear aircraft carriers. The company's parent corporation, Huntington Ingalls Industries, is expanding its work in the nuclear energy field, and in January formed SN3 — Stoller Newport News Nuclear — described as a "full-service nuclear operations and environmental services company combining the company's S.M. Stoller Corp. and Newport News Nuclear subsidiaries."

Newport News attended the June 2014 industry day — dubbed by NAVSEA as the "CVN 65 Ship-Shaping Industry Day" — and confirmed its continuing interest in bidding for further work on the Enterprise.

"We believe that NNS, working with our SN3 nuclear energy business in a partnership that may also include others, possesses the technical expertise and certainly a great knowledge of the ship that, when combined, may offer our Navy customer with a lower cost option and we are interested in doing this work," company spokeswoman Jerri Dickseski said in a statement.

Major Job

The aircraft carriers now being disposed of are the largest warships ever to be scrapped, anywhere. NAVSEA recently broke a longstanding logjam and began awarding recycling contracts for decommissioned conventionally-powered carriers of the Forrestal and Kitty Hawk classes, and three ships — Forrestal, Saratoga and Constellation — are in the ship channel at Brownsville, Texas, all in various stages of being broken up by three different shipbreaking companies. A fourth ship, Ranger, is in the middle of a four-month tow from Puget Sound. Now off Argentina, she is expected to arrive in Brownsville in mid-summer.

Representatives from all three shipbreaking companies in Brownsville — International Shipbreaking LLC, All-Star Metals and ESCO Marine — also attended NAVSEA's industry day. International Shipbreaking and All-Star Metals said they remain interested in the Enterprise job.

Nikhil Shah, president of All-Star Metals, confirmed his company responded to the RFI.

"I think it opened their eyes to see what else is out there," he said May 14 of the industry day. "The Navy does a very good job trying to understand what the industry has to offer, and needed to hear from industry what different options there are."

Shah felt the Navy learned "about certain items they didn't think was in issue, just because they hadn't done it in a private contract." Some of those items included asking about a contractor's nuclear waste disposal capability, and what plan they might have for transporting nuclear waste.

"The Navy has to feel comfortable with the process," Shah said. "They have to identify the process and put it in writing, probably with a request for proposal. There's a technical side to this that takes time to understand so that everyone's on the same page."

All-Star is recycling the carrier Forrestal, and is about 75 percent complete with the task, Shah said. The company is to finish the job in October.

International Shipbreaking is working on the carrier Constellation, Vice President Robert Berry said May 14, and will recycle the Ranger. Work on the Constellation, he said, is about 20 to 25 percent done, with completion expected in 2016. Berry provided some insight into what the Navy is looking for with the Enterprise.

"They were looking for ideas on how to reduce the amount of material that had to go to Bremerton — in other words, cut the ship down to size so that Bremerton wouldn't have so much to deal with."

The Navy, he said, "had a couple of scenarios. One was to cut the carrier down to the hangar deck, then put it on a semi-submersible heavy-lift ship and carry it" to Puget Sound. "The thing was to get some weight off it and reduce the width."

Another scenario discussed, Berry said, was to "take some weight off, narrow it up," then tow the cut-down Enterprise through the new Panama Canal, which is expected to open in 2016.

The original canal's 110-foot wide locks have been the most significant factor limiting the size of ships that pass through since completion in 1914. US capital ships were once designed to fit that restriction, but beginning with the Midway-class carriers in 1945 all US flattops have been too large to use the canal. The overall width of most US carriers, including Enterprise, is about 250 feet — a figure that includes the hull, projecting sponsons and the overhang of the flight deck. But the hull, with all projections cut off, is only 133 feet wide.

The new Panama Canal now under construction will have much larger lock chambers — 180 feet wide, 1,400 feet long and 60 feet in depth. Enterprise, Berry said, could be cut down to fit through those new locks.

The Navy has given no indication which way it's leaning, Berry said. "We really don't know what they're going to come up with."

The situation with the third company in Brownsville, ESCO Marine, is in doubt. The company completed about 25 percent of the recycling and remediation work on the carrier Saratoga before it suspended operations last winter in a dispute with a creditor. According to media reports, ESCO Marine laid off about 300 employees in February and is effectively closed. Phone calls and emails to ESCO were unanswered.

"The Navy is monitoring the situation at ESCO Marine, and is working closely with the company to ensure they fulfill their contractual obligations," Chris Johnson, a NAVSEA spokesman, said May 14. "The Navy retains ownership of the Saratoga until all scrapping work is completed. We are assured the vessel is being kept in a secure condition as specified in the contract."

Should Newport News secure the Enterprise work, several sources indicated, the actual job of reducing or breaking the ship would not likely be done in Virginia. No one would confirm specific talks between Newport News, All-Star Metals, International Shipbreaking or others, but it seems certain discussions have been held about potential partnerships.

"We'd do anything that makes good business sense, absolutely," Berry said.

"We're always in discussions, always looking at strategic partnerships to grow and foster the maritime business," Shah said. "The maritime world is small and getting smaller. We're always looking at alternative ways to partner with someone."

Source: defense news. 17 May 2015

Safety concern for ship breaking industry:

Ship breaking is an important activity, not only for those involved with it but also for Bangladesh's economy. It makes significant contribution to the global conservation of energy and resources. In Bangladesh, almost 100 per cent of the materials collected from a ship scraps is recycled. Contribution of ship breaking to inland shipbuilding in Bangladesh is enormous.

However, ship breaking in Bangladesh takes place on sandy beaches without any satisfactory mechanism to prevent water and soil pollution. Environmental pollution by other domestic industries like tannery, dying, brickfield, inland/coastal vessels and road vehicles are not also less severe. Actually, environmental awareness among different industries is still very poor and ship breaking is no exception. Hazardous waste materials, which cannot be recycled, are usually dumped on the spot due to lack of storage facilities.

Occupational health and safety in the ship-breaking industry can be ensured through strict monitoring by government's regulatory bodies as well as imparting training to the workers and also providing them with protective gears and equipment. Environmental pollution can be kept to a minimum level by following standard international procedures for disposing ship's materials. Development of detailed ship recycling guidelines for local scrap yards is also a necessity for improving the standard of this industry.

Source: financial express. 18 May 2015

17 May 2015

Roundtable on recycling: ‘Pakistan’s ship-breaking industry in danger’

Pakistan’s ship breaking yards at Gadani can be hit by the new EU ship recycling regulations. PHOTO: AFP
Pakistan’s ship breaking yards at Gadani can be hit by the new EU ship recycling regulations. PHOTO: AFP 

Legal and environmental experts expressed concern regarding challenges faced by ship-breaking industries of the South Asian countries particularly Pakistan after the promulgation of new regulations by the European Union (EU) during a roundtable session held on Saturday.

The session was organised by the Centre for Rule of Law Islamabad Pakistan (CROLIP) in collaboration with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Shipbreakng Platform, an NGO, to deliberate upon the issue and highlight the significance of the ship breaking industry.

The participants shared that the new EU directives will split the ship breaking market into a safe market and substandard market and Pakistan’s ship breaking yards at Gadani can be hit by the new EU ship recycling regulations.

Pakistan needs to safeguard the industry by adopting necessary precautionary measures mentioned in the EU Rules, they added.

The session was attended by CROLIP President Muhammad Majid Bashir, Worldwide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF-P) President Ahmer Bilal Soofi, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Sulehri, and International Labour Organisation representatives.

While talking about the international framework of ship breaking, Bashir stressed the need for compliance of rules and said owners need to keep themselves abreast with latest legal advancements enforced by EU. Soofi showed concern over environmental issues affecting marine life in Gadani. He said WWF-P will also take part in the campaign of CROLIP to build a green recycling ship breaking industry.

Sulehri said under the EU framework, Pakistan has to take prompt measures to protect this industry through effective legislative cover.

Source: tribune. 17 May 2015

15 May 2015

Costa Concordia's Million Dollar Recycling Plan:

The wreck of the Costa Concordia has arrived at its final destination and is ready for final dismantling, a job expected to take over a year and cost EUR 100 million ($114 million).

The wreck was towed to Molo ex Superbacino where it will be recycled by the Ship Recycling Consortium – a group formed by Saipem (51 percent) and San Giorgio del Porto (49 percent). These two companies joined forces in September 2012 with the aim of providing green ship dismantling services.

Around 50,000 tons of steel and 2,000 tons of copper are expected to be recovered from the vessel. Prior to arrival at Molo ex Superbacino over 5,700 tons of furniture and interior equipment was removed so the wreck could be towed over the breakwater of the Prà Voltri Port to reach the dismantling dock.

The dismantling and recycling project is being carried out in four separate operational phases requiring up to 250 people at a time. Around 80 percent of the vessel is anticipated to be able to be recycled.

Phase 1

This phase started with the mooring of the ship at the Seawall pier in the Port of Prà Voltri on July 27, 2014. After the technical handover by Titan Micoperi – the consortium that carried out the salvage operation on Giglio Island – the ship recycling team made its initial preparations including:

Installation of the shipboard fire-fighting system
Completion of the lighting system
Installation of the necessary wiring and electrical installations
Installation of elevators for transportation of materials
Safety measures – e.g. repair of the gunwale/bulwarks, closure of certain shafts and spaces, protective measures in stairways, installation of gangways affording access to the ship
Installation of one crane on the lido deck (about 60 meters in height) and another one forward for lifting materials
Creation of openings required to remove materials and load them on barges for transportation to a dedicated area of the port
Winterization of mooring arrangements (in case of adverse weather conditions during the winter season).

Next, work began to strip and remove the furnishings and fittings of the decks above water. The objective of this phase was to obtain a reduced draft enabling the ship to be moved to the Molo Ex Superbacino dock.

Phase 2

The wreck was transferred from the Seawall pier at Prà Voltri to the Molo Ex Superbacino dock earlier this week. Now the structures of decks 14 to 2 will be dismantled, including stripping of the interior furnishings and fittings on the decks when they emerge as the work progresses.

The deck structures will be removed in such a way as not to adversely affect the stability or longitudinal strength of the hull.

Phase 3

The main aim of this phase will be the creation of buoyant force in the ship by making several compartments watertight and possibly installing airbags, thereby enabling the subsequent removal of the 30 sponsons currently attached to the hull.

In addition, the food storerooms and cold storage rooms on deck 0 will be cleaned. Following this, the wreck will be towed to Dry Dock No. 4.

Phase 4

This phase will involve the complete disassembly of the wreck including the removal of the remaining interior fittings, clean-up of the various areas and final demolition of all the remaining structures. This phase will conclude with the disposal and recycling of the discarded materials.

The Largest Wreck Removal Project

Crowley Maritime subsidiary TITAN Salvage and Italian engineering partner Micoperi were recently honored with the International Salvage Union (ISU) Meritorious Service Award for their role in the successful execution the salvage of the Costa Concordia, the largest single maritime wreck removal project ever to be undertaken.

The Costa Concordia ran aground in the waters surrounding Giglio Island, Italy, in January 2012, and was parbuckled (rotated upright), refloated and towed away by the TITAN/Micoperi team in September 2014. The ship salvage was the largest, most technically demanding project of its kind in history and was carried out in full public view from the island.

The Costa Effect

The salvage was so successful that it has led to a new mindset - called the “Costa Effect” meaning that everything is possible in salvage operations. Titan Salvage and Micoperi have now proved this for many people.

Titan was the only salvor to propose removing the wreck in one piece. This would increase the cost of the project, but it was the best way to protect the integrity of the environment.

Environmental experts from the University of Rome were engaged in the earliest part of Titan’s bidding process. Nick Sloane was Titan’s salvage master for the project, and through his leadership the island of Giglio has now seen dolphin, snapper and tuna return to the wreck site. Tourism accounts for 85 percent of Giglio’s revenue stream, and the commitment is to return the environment to its original pristine state within five years.

A Tribute to Lives Lost

Two memorials have been erected on Giglio to commemorate the 32 people from eight countries that lost their lives in the accident, and the diver working on the parbuckling project who also died. One is a plaque engraved with the names of those lost which is located on a pier near the wreck site. The other is a statue of the Virgin Mary wearing necklaces of rosaries left by those who mourned the loss of loved ones.

Source: maritime executive. 13 May 2015