10 August 2016

Ship breaking sector advancing despite odds: Swedish envoy

CHITTAGONG, Aug 9: Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Zohan Frishel said the ship-breaking industry is turning into a potential sector in Bangladesh, beating all odds.

He said this while visiting the PHP Ship Breaking and Recycling Yard at Sitakunda of Chittagong Monday. Managing director of the PHP Shipyard Zahirul Islam Rinku welcomed him at the yard, a statement said.

Remarkable changes have been made in the Bangladesh Ship Breaking Yards after fighting off all odds and negative publicity by some of the western countries, he said, adding, the yards are using all modern security equipment and as a result accidents in the yards have come down.

He expressed satisfaction at seeing improved environmental situation in the yard and suggested reforms in other yards taking the PHP Ship Breaking Yard as a model. "Such work will remove negative image of Bangladesh ship breaking yards abroad," he said.

Mr Rinku said some steps have been taken to improve environmental atmosphere in the ship breaking yards in recent times as many countries including Norway have come forward to supporting the initiative.

Representatives of different countries have visited the ship breaking yards. The visit of the Swedish Ambassador is part of that, he said. "We hope all negative notions about Bangladesh ship breaking yards will be removed after seeing the working environment here."

The statement said that around 10 million tonnes of steel are scrapped every year from the ship breaking yards throughout the country and Bangladesh, India and Pakistan import 75 per cent of them.

Ships weighing dead weight around 2.5 to 3.0 million tonnes are imported alone in Bangladesh. The annual turnover of the industry is around Tk 50 billion and the industry gives annual revenues worth Tk 10 billion to the government exchequer.

Later, the Ambassador made a courtesy call on the Mayor of Chittagong City Corporation AJM Nasir Uddin. The mayor apprised the ambassador of the ongoing door-to-door waste management programme.

The Ambassador praised the move of the mayor in city's waste collection and said it is a time befitting step of the mayor. In his country, the government collects 99 per cent of the total domestic waste, he said. 

Source: the financial express. 9 August 2016

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