Media and research centre Danwatch claims the yard in Bangladesh 'violates both national legislation and international standards'.
Controversial work to break up the North Sea Producer on a Bangladesh beach is under way.
Work is under way to scrap the North Sea Producer on a Chittagong beach (Photo: Danwatch)
When the former oil tanker was hauled away from its berth next to the Riverside Stadium earlier this year, its fate was unclear.
But its discovery on a beach-based scrapyard in Chittagong has caused controversy in Denmark , with its former owner, Danish company Maersk, coming under fire for it ending up there.
Media and research centre Danwatch claims the yard, where ships are “beached” before being broken up by hand, “violates both national legislation and international standards.”
It also quotes Maersk’s head of sustainability, Annette Stube, as admitting the company “has not been good enough to ensure that the ship was sent to scrap to a secure yard,” adding that Maersk is “really, really sorry that this has happened.”
But she added that the ship is not Maersk’s responsibility, blaming it on an intermediary who bought the vessel and sold it for scrap.
The story has hit the headlines in Denmark because for years, Maersk has publicly distanced itself from shipbreaking practices in Bangladesh which do not follow international standards for responsible ship recycling.
On Teesside, however, the interest is also in the ultimate fate of a ship which became a familiar sight for Boro fans during two stints moored alongside the stadium.
And Danwatch today confirmed the ship is now being broken up - a sad end for a once impressive vessel.
The Danwatch report, with daily newspaper Politiken and broadcaster TV2, includes footage of four workers climbing a rope ladder up the side of the Producer without safety harnesses or other fall protection, then lifting a gas canister after them with a rope.
Workers are quoted as saying it is a “difficult ship to cut” because it’s a former oil ship with “many, many pipes.”
The report also details the poor conditions and equipment the workers operate in.
|People can be seen climbing onto the North
Sea Producer (Photo: Danwatch)|
It states: “At close range, the oil ship stands out from the other ships. A complicated labyrinth of pipes fills the entire deck. Five men climb approximately 20m up a rope ladder on the side of the ship. They climb in rhythm, keeping an eye on each other as they attempt to reach the top. They wear neither safety harness nor fall protection, and when they reach the deck, they begin to pull a gas canister up behind them on a rope.
“The shipbreaking has begun, and Ali Hassan, Abdullah Anwar, and Mohammad Chandra will soon be aboard the Producer. With their torch cutters in their hands, scarves over their mouths, and nothing on their feet, they will cut, tear and chop the ship into unrecognisable steel.”
Journalist Norma Josef Martinex of Danwatch confirmed to The Gazette: “The vessel Producer is being scrapped as we speak.”
Source: gazette live. 27 October 2016