30 November 2016

Maersk tightens its ship recycling procedures

Maersk is introducing contractual steps to ensure that its sales contracts include a strong financial incentive for ship recycling to be carried out responsibly.

In the wave of discussions on Maersk entering the ship recycling sector in Alang, Maersk has faced criticism for its handling of two independent cases related to ship recycling. One related to the FPSO North Sea Producer that was sent by its new owner to a ship recycling yard in Bangladesh, despite Maersk stipulating in the contract that the production unit, at the end of its lifetime, was to be recycled according to the Hong Kong Convention.

The other case relates to 14 chartered-in Starflotte ships whose contracts Maersk wanted to end ahead of time in 2014. In the final agreement with the owner, Maersk incentivised recycling at the best price, which effectively means recycling at sub-standard yards, which is what the owner chose to do when the vessels were returned.

In the latter case, Maersk has publicly acknowledged, and regrets that it indirectly incentivised the owner to recycle at sub-standard yards.

Group response
As outlined by the Head of the Sustainability Council, Claus V. Hemmingsen, the Group has responded to these cases by tightening its procedures:

"We have actively participated in, and worked directly with the yards in Alang, India, to improve conditions there and to influence the industry as a whole. Therefore, it is regrettable that in spite of these initiatives there are examples of how we have pushed in the opposite direction of our own policy. In the future, we will ensure that our sales contracts contain a very strong incentive for ship recycling to be carried out responsibly,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen.

Minimising the financial incentive
In 2009, the Group introduced a responsible recycling policy and expressed its support for the Hong Kong Convention. Procedures were further tightened in September 2016, in order to minimise the financial incentive for buyers to recycle irresponsibly.

The new contract terms are based on the value of the vessel at the time of sale. If the value is low (less than 25% of the highest recycling price), Maersk will not divest but will recycle the vessel according to its standards.

If the value is higher (25-40% above the highest recycling price), the new owner will be required to operate the vessel for a further two years or to recycle in accordance with Maersk's standards. When the vessel has been operating on behalf of others beyond a period of 24 months, Maersk can no longer take on this extended responsibility.

If the value is high (more than 40% above the highest recycling price), the vessel can be resold without restrictions, as there is no financial incentive for the buyer to recycle, at this point in time.

“With these adjustments, Maersk expands the responsibilities that the Group takes to ensure responsible ship recycling. The tightened policy further clarifies the fact that Maersk will not enter into contractual agreements that encourage the new owner to find the highest price for steel in the future,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen and underlines:

“We stand by our commitment and intention to continue working with and developing the facilities at the Alang yards just as we continue to support global initiatives to ensure equal international requirements and conditions. Only global regulation will ensure a definitive stop to the critical conditions that we see today.”

Facts on cases

North Sea Producer
The FPSO North Sea Producer operated in the UK North Sea from 1997–2015 and was owned by the North Sea Production Company Limited (NSPC), an independent British company owned 50/50 by Maersk and Odebrecht, a Brazilian company.

Following contract termination, the North Sea Producer was sold and transferred to a buyer in April 2016 on an "as is, where is" basis, whereby the buyer took over operational and legal responsibility for the unit.
In August 2016, Maersk was made aware of the fact that the North Sea Producer had been sent to a recycling yard in Bangladesh, where conditions do not meet the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention. Maersk had contractually bound the buyer to the Hong Kong Convention but the buyer chose to violate the contract.

An internal legal study has concluded that neither Maersk nor NSPC can prevent the recycling from taking place or impose a financial legal claim against the buyer.

The Maersk Group has subsequently broken all commercial relations with the buyer.

In 2005, Maersk Line acquired P&O Nedlloyd and with this company, a chartering agreement relating to 14 container ships, called Starflotte.
Maersk Line later estimated that the ships did not meet its requirements for the remaining contract period and negotiated an agreement with the owners regarding the termination of the rental agreement and recycling of the ships, in return for compensation.

The steel price the owner could obtain for recycling the vessels was included in the calculation of the commercial transactions between Maersk Line and the ships’ owner at the termination of the agreement.

The vessels were subsequently recycled at sub-standard yards when their contracts ended in 2013.

Source: Maersk. 23 November 2016

Maersk supports responsible ship recycling:

As a minimum, yards that Maersk collaborates with must be certified according to the Hong Kong Convention.

Maersk supports a global agreement on responsible ship recycling. Since 2009, when Maersk introduced a responsible recycling policy and expressed its support for the UN’s Hong Kong Convention, Maersk has put great effort into pushing for its universal ratification. The convention was negotiated in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and defines a set of global minimum standards on safety and environmental issues related to ship recycling.

Maersk supports recycling yards in Alang, India, that demonstrate a willingness to change, and their efforts have already led to significant progress. As a minimum, yards that Maersk collaborates with must be certified according to the Hong Kong Convention. Since sending two vessels to the Shree Ram yard at Alang for the first time in May this year, Maersk has witnessed significant progress in several areas.

In the yard, 70% of the workers have received intensive safety training and instructions from the independent British assessment services provider, Lloyds Register Quality Assurance, and other organisations. The remaining 30%, who perform less dangerous tasks, have also received safety training specially targeted towards their tasks.

Other examples of the progress achieved are:
As opposed to practices used elsewhere in the local area, the environmental recycling plan outlined by said convention means that the majority of a vessel is dismantled on a surface whereby there is no contact between ship parts and the surrounding sand or water.

Use of appropriate personal protective equipment is available and required.
All workers are paid the minimum wage plus 200 % in overtime payment and they have a contract—neither of which are otherwise practiced by the industry in the local area.

For the vast majority of the shipyard’s employees, housing conditions have been significantly upgraded and the yard is in the process of improving the housing conditions of the remaining employees.

Maersk’s intention to have vessels recycled in Alang, India, and its concurrent decision to sell two container vessels to one of the leading ship recyclers in the area has raised public concerns and triggered controversy. Its ambition is to change an industry.

Annette Stube, Head of Group Sustainability says that when Maersk decided to collaborate with ship recycling yards in India everyone was fully aware of the risk of being criticised as the yards were not yet observing the regulations fully.

“We can document the main improvements that have already been achieved and we now see that the recycling yards' engagement in the plan has led to others following suit. When we begin negotiations on the recycling of the next vessels, we will invite a number of other yards in Alang that, like Shree Ram, already follow the Hong Kong Convention and will commit to meeting our standards,” Stube says, adding that four shipyards have announced that they are ready and have already initiated new investments in improvements impacting hundreds of workers.

Annette Stube underlines that the Group complied with standards of openly communicating to media and NGOs prior to initiating the recycling activities:

“Instead of waiting on the sideline we have taken action and the results we have achieved in six months are far more comprehensive and far-reaching than those achieved during the seven years of waiting for a global agreement.”

Source: Maersk. 23 November 2016

26 November 2016

Grief-stricken families of Gadani tragedy's victims await disbursement of financial aid:

Grief-stricken families of Gadani tragedy's victims await disbursement of financial aid

GADANI: Heirs of victims of Gadani ship-breaking yard explosion are still waiting for the disbursement of financial aid despite the fact that eighteen days have passed since the tragic incident occurred.

Only breadwinner of the family of eight living in hut at Goth Abdul Karim, 18-years-old Sanaullah, had aslo fallen prey to deadly blaze that swept through Gadani ship-breaking yard but grief-stricken family of Sanaullah has not been provided with any financial aid.

Among missing workers, two belonged to Gadani’s Saleh Goth.

Being disappointed from traders of ship-yard, residents of Goth Saleh have asked the government for financial aid at earliest. According to the government, 22 workers lost their lives in this incident.

Meanwhile, the Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD)  has urged that instead of stopping work at Gadani Ship-Breaking Yards, proper safety measures be ensured at these yards.

Source: the nation. 19 November 2016

London event to address safe and efficient scrapping of ships

United Kingdom: The 4th Ship Recycling Congress organised by ACI, set to take place on January 25-26 next year in London, will highlight practical experiences with the aim of educating the shipping sector about how to profit from the safe and efficient scrapping of end-of-life vessels.

During the two-day conference, the European Commission's list of approved ship recycling facilities will be discussed in detail, highlighting the effects that it will have on Europe's ship recycling market.

Other hot topics to be tackled will include: methods of increasing ship recycling profitability despite low steel prices; and latest 'green' ship technologies that promote more efficient recycling procedures.

Additionally, the event will follow up on potential solutions to safety issues and health risks to which workers may be exposed outside the EU while promoting a fresh insight into technological and practical systems for hazardous waste tracking.

Source: recycling international. 21 November 2016

Steel makers jack up prices after Gadani fire incident:

KARACHI: The price of steel bars has gone up by Rs8,000-Rs10,000 per tonne after the fire incident at the Gadani ship-breaking yard last month that claimed at least 19 lives.
Traders in Sarya Market said the price of regular-quality steel bar, which was available at Rs56,000-Rs57,000 prior to the Gadani incident, has now surged to Rs68,000 per tonne. They said the price of steel of a better quality is now Rs74,000 per tonne compared to the earlier rate of Rs68,000 per tonne.

The market is facing a shortage at a time when demand for steel bar is high, they said, adding that manufacturers of steel bars also face a dearth of raw material.

However, chairman Association of Builders and Developers (Abad) Mohsin Sheikhani said the builders use two types of steel bars. One of the qualities now costs Rs 69,000 as compared to Rs 57,000 while another quality is now available at Rs 74,000 as compared to Rs 68,000 per tonne. The increase will raise the construction cost that will ultimately be borne by property buyers.

The government has ordered a halt in activities at the Gadani ship-breaking yard by imposing Section 144 instead of ensuring safety measures for the industry that is the main source of raw material for steel manufacturers.

He said builders are finding it hard to continue their projects due to the shortage of steel in the local market. Most builders will have to shut down their ongoing projects due to increasing steel prices in case they decide against raising the rates of their apartments or housing units, he noted.

The Abad chief said almost 20,000 people connected with the Gadani ship-breaking yard have lost their jobs. He demanded that the government should immediately lift Section 144 and allow ship-breakers to begin their work.

Pakistan’s iron and steel scrap import slightly fell to 992,546 tonnes worth $257 million in July-October against 1m tonnes of imports costing $311m in the same period a year ago.

According to the annual report of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the overall steel production witnessed a contraction of 9.3 per cent in 2015-16 compared to growth of 35.4pc in the preceding year.

The suspension of Pakistan Steel’s operations overshadowed the notable performance of private-sector steel manufacturers. The steel industry faced two key challenges in the year that constrained domestic private manufacturers from effectively utilising their capacity expansions.

Firstly, the liquidity crisis at Pakistan Steel brought its operations to a complete standstill July 2015 onwards. Pakistan Steel contributes 10-15pc of the total steel production in the country. It is the sole producer of pig iron, which is used as an input for making various steel products.

Hence, the suspension of Pakistan Steel’s operations forced steel manufacturers in the private sector to rely on imported pig iron, the report said.

Secondly, the unprecedented decline in international steel prices, coupled with the influx of cheap Chinese steel under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), squeezed the profit margins of domestic firms. In fact, low-cost steel products from China have posed a threat to many steel manufacturers around the globe.

Hence, imports of steel scrap and steel products increased 35.6pc and 30pc, respectively, in 2015-16. These imports posted extraordinary growth despite the imposition of anti-dumping duties on the import of cold-rolled coils and sheets from China and Ukraine, the SBP report said.

International Steel doubled its capacity with the installation of a second galvanising plant with a capacity of 250,000 tonnes in 2015.

Mughal Steel enhanced its melting capacity to 72,250 tonnes per annum from 48,000 tonnes and rerolling capacity to 229,688 tonnes from 187,500 tonnes per annum in 2015. Amreli Steel witnessed capacity addition in 2014-15 and expects to double its capacity in 2016-17 and 2017-18, the report said.

Pig iron had 4pc share in the overall steel production in 2014-15, which fell to zero in 2015-16. As many as 57 local steel makers argue that Chinese manufacturers have resorted to dumping their steel products in other countries by relying on government subsidies, tariff concessions through FTAs and marginal cost pricing mechanisms.

The SBP report said countries such as Bangladesh, Mexico, Brazil, United States and India have countered this threat by imposing countervailing duties, regulatory duties and other non-tariff barriers to protect their local steel industries.

Appropriate tariff barriers are not in place to protect Pakistan’s steel industry because of concessions given through the FTA and incorrect declaration of non-alloy steel goods as alloy steel. Members of the Group of Seven (G7), an informal bloc of industrialised nations, agreed to take steps to tackle a global glut in steel that many blame on excess production by Chinese producers of steel products used in construction and cars. These import duties, which were imposed in January 2016, varied in the range of 8.3pc to 19pc.

Source: 23 November 2016

25 November 2016

The changing face of ship recycling in India

India has the largest ship recycling industry, being responsible for one third of all recycled tonnage in the world with more than 150 yards along its coast. On average, close to 6.2m gt is scrapped in India every year, which accounts for 33% of the total scrapped tonnage in the world.

In recent years however, the ship recycling industry has grabbed headlines for the wrong reasons. Pollutants such as asbestos, heavy metal and oil are discharged into the water from ship breaking causing contamination into the coastal soil and its environment. A lack of occupational health and safety standards at these ship recycling yards leads to a high rate of injuries and even fatalities.

However, as ship recycling remains an integral part of the maritime industry, international maritime bodies are seeking ways to regulate it instead of shutting it down, and this has led to the adoption of new policy regimes at international level today.

Setting up of the Hong Kong Convention

The Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention) was adopted in May 2009 to address all the issues related to ship recycling, including the fact that ships sold for scrapping may contain environmentally hazardous substances such as asbestos, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, ozone depleting substances and others.

It also addressed concerns about the working and environmental conditions in many of the world’s ship recycling facilities.

Following which, India also started introducing strict regulatory requirements from 2007 that culminated in the adoption and enforcement of the Ship Recycling Code 2013. The Code introduced environmental, health and safety standards for ship recycling that are fully in line with the standards adopted by the International Maritime Organization.

With the Code in place, the recycling industry in Alang voluntarily invested its own money and resources in making additional improvements to their infrastructure, procedures and working methods. Although the Hong Kong Convention has yet to enter into force, the proactive approach of the ship recycling facilities has seen many enhancements to meet the Hong Kong Convention and develop the ship recycling facility plan required for a competent authority’s certification towards safer and greener ship recycling.

A move in the right direction: Training, certification and compliance

Recently IRClass has certified Kasturi Commodities Pvt Ltd, Madhav Industrial Corporation & Madhav Steels for Hong Kong Convention – HKC 2009 for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

Four of the largest Indian ship recycling facilities Priya Blue Industries, Shree Ram Vessel Scrap, R.L. Kalathia Ship Breaking, and Leela Ship Recycling have also engaged IRClass Systems and Solutions Private Limited as an independent verifier to assess compliance with the requirements of EU SRR and apply to the European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment, Brussels for inclusion in the European List of recycling facilities.

The recycling facilities have also received Certificate of Quality Management System ISO 9001:2015, Certificate of Environmental Management System ISO 14001:2015, Certificate of Occupational Health and Safety Management System OHSAS 18001:2007, Certificate of Ship Recycling Management System ISO 30000:2009.

In order to meet the certification requirements, the facilities have been physically upgraded to include a wide variety of facilities such as an occupational health centre, negative air pressure asbestos abatement unit, workers changing and rest room, toilets, drinking water, both open-air and specialized covered storage areas, reducing the contact of the contaminated cut blocks from soil by cutting taking place on a concrete impermeable floor with appropriate drainage and effluent collection system.

Ship recycling yards also have to ensure that their employees are properly trained. All of the IRClass certified yards have to show the training and development plan for its employees which ensures that: –

· EHS Manager holds Asbestos Abatement Supervisor Certificate from a competent organisation; and
· Ship recycling facilities employees complete a comprehensive five day course on Hazardous Material Identification and Ship Recycling Plan Preparation by renowned organisation from Germany, conducted in Alang.
In addition to the above, the general workforce of IRCLASS certified yards at Alang are trained in:

1. Fire prevention and protection
2. Material handling training programme by Gujarat Safety Council, Vadodara
3. First aiders, trained by Indian Red Cross Society, Bhavnagar
4. Gas-cutters/ torch bearers, trained on Gas Cutting Operations by Indian Institute of Welding, Vadodara
5. Working at height and confined spaces training – conducted by competent organisation and
6. Emergency preparedness and rescue along with various drills by Indian Register of Shipping

This demonstrates the commitment of the management towards the skill development of their workforce.

Reflecting the change that is transforming the industry, these are the efforts undertaken by the ship recycling industry in India to shed its negative image of its pollution and poor safety record. More and more yards are associating with IRClass as it continues to receive applications for HKC 2009 compliance.

This trend serves to illustrate the strong commitment of the ship recycling industry in Alang – showing that it has changed for the better and that sustainable ship recycling is a reality.

Source: splash 24/7.

Seven-Year-Old Container Ship Sent to Scrap!!

container ship

Rickmers Marine Trust is scrapping the youngest ever container ship sent for demolition. The India Rickmers is a seven year old Panamax, 4,250 TEU ship built in China in 2009.

VesselsValue values the vessel at $5.87 million, just above scrap. In 2016, the vessel fell 62 percent in value. This year the average change in value in the container ship sector is -26 percent.

The main reason for this is that these vessels are becoming defunct now that the Panama Canal has been widened. Panamax container ships built in 2009 have dropped in value by two thirds over the last couple of years.

Rickmers Marine Trust’s live fleet of 16 Panamax vessels has an average age of eight years and is valued at $88.69 million by VesselsValue. Its demolition value is $87.68 million.
Five vessels are on long-term charter to Mitsui OSK, six are trading on the spot market and five are stacked off Batu Pahat, Malaysia (Erwin Rickmers, Sabine Rickmers, Maja Rickmers, Kaethe C Rickmers, Laranna Rickmers).

Source: maritime-executive.

24 November 2016

Smuggled oil led to deadly explosion at Pakistani shipbreaking yard:

An explosion at a Pakistani shipbreaking yard that claimed the lives of more than two dozen workers is believed to have been caused by sizable amounts of smuggled oil that caught fire, local reports said.

Investigations from the prosecutors and Pakistan’s ministry for shipping showed that during the dismantling of the oil tanker, recognised as the 149,235-dwt and 1982-built Aces, there were 132 tonnes of furnace oil, 27 tonnes of diesel oil, 1,100 tonnes of sludge and 30,000 tonnes of lubricant oil.

The large quantity of lubricant oil is believed to be part of a smuggling scheme for illegal import of oil products into the country, according to the investigation report.

“A huge quantity of lubricants smuggled by the shipowner had caught fire due to mishandling of work managers,” Hasil Khan Bizenjo, minister of ports and shipping, was reported saying.

“According to the customs rules and regulations, decommissioned vessels are only allowed to carry a fixed quantity of oil required for their voyage from a port of departure to Gadani shipbreaking yard in Pakistan,” he said.

“Businessmen acquire decommissioned ships for scrap from different parts of the world and bring them to the UAE where they are filled with lubricants which are then smuggled into Pakistan,” he added.

On 1 November, a blast occurred in the fuel tank of the oil tanker, which was moored in Gadani, 45km northwest of the port city of Karachi, Pakistan.

The investigation also found many safety lapses and dire working conditions for the shipbreaking workers at the Gadani yard. Work at the yard has stopped after the accident and will be resumed in the beginning of next week.

At last count, at least 26 people died from the Aces explosion, where the raging fire burnt for four days.

Source: seatrade-maritime. 22 November 2016

19 November 2016

Former Atlantic Erie to be scrapped in Turkey:

A vessel that grounded off of Port Colborne more than two years ago is on its way to be scrapped in Turkey, said the president of Canada Steamship Lines.

The self-unloading bulk carrier MV Atlantic Erie, renamed the Spirit of Shpongle, left the Port of Montreal earlier this month, bound an eco-friendly recycling yard in Turkey, said CSL’s Allister Paterson in a release.

The dismantling of the 31-year-old vessel is part of CSL’s fleet optimization and capacity management programs that introduced six new state-of-the art Trillium Class vessels to the Canadian fleet and retired five older, less efficient ships, including the Atlantic Erie, the company said.

“Our ships are like family so the decision to retire one is never easy. But in a mature market like the Great Lakes, it’s the responsible thing to do. As technologically-superior ships enter the market, we need to recycle the older ships that market demand will no longer support,” said Paterson in the release.

The vessel was sold “as-is where-is” to a vessel broker who is towing the renamed vessel to a ship recycling yard in Turkey in full compliance with international rules and regulations and according to CSL’s own rigorous vessel recycling policy.

Originally named MV Hon. Paul Martin, the Great Lakes and ocean-class vessel was built for CSL in 1984 at the Collingwood shipyard. The ship was renamed Atlantic Erie in 1988 to reflect the dual ocean and Great Lakes services she would perform throughout her active life.

Canada Steamship Lines is a division of The CSL Group, the world’s largest owner and operator of self-unloading vessels. Headquartered in Montreal with divisions based in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, CSL delivers more than 78 million tonnes of cargo annually for customers in the construction, steel, energy and agricultural sectors.

Here is a video of the Atlantic Erie when it was grounded off of Port Colborne

Source: 17 November 2016

Africa: Towards Safe, Clean Ship Recycling

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Nine West and Central African countries have agreed to start working towards ratifying IMO’s ship recycling treaty, the Hong Kong Convention, following a workshop in Accra, Ghana (14-16 November).

The event allowed for in-depth discussions and provided details on the specific requirements of the Convention and its Guidelines, with representatives from Cabo Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe and Sierra Leone taking part.

The Ghana Maritime Authority hosted the workshop and IMO was represented by Mr. Jun Sun and Captain Dallas Laryea.

Source: marine link. 17 November 2016

Drewry: BWM Regs Likely to Accelerate Demolition of Younger Tanker Tonnage

Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited (Drewry) Wednesday said that tanker demolitions, spurred on by weak freight rates, will accelerate in coming years as a result of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO's) Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.

As Ship & Bunker has previously reported, the BWM Convention is set to enter into force on September 8, 2017.

"Some owners are expected to bring forward fourth special surveys, if they fall around the scheduled deadline, in order to delay retrofitting BWTS to the fifth special survey," said Drewry.

Drewry says that, while scrapping is likely to increase within the next two years as owners feel the effects of consistently low freight rates, with a relatively young fleet, demolitions will remain moderate until special surveys come due in mid-2018, forcing ship owners to either retrofit BWM systems or scrap their vessels.

The consultancy notes that the additional cost of retrofitting BWM systems, combined with the special survey, as well as lower freight rates, will likely drive many owners toward scraping younger vessels prior to the next survey due date.

"We do not expect all these vessels to be scrapped since many of them are on long-term charter at attractive rates, justifying the additional cost of retrofitting BWTS. As tanker rates will remain well above operating costs during the forecast period, many owners might opt to operate their vessels after incurring this additional cost in anticipation of a recovery in rates," said Rajesh Verma, Drewry’s lead analyst for tanker shipping.

"However, since the tanker market will be oversupplied, older vessels will find it difficult to get employment, which in turn will force many owners to scrap their tonnage just before their next survey is due."

An estimated 74 crude tankers, equivalent to 14 million DWT, as well as 114 product tankers, equivalent to 5.6 million DWT, are set for their fourth special survey to take place between mid-2018 and 2021, says Drewry, noting these vessels are mostly likely to fall victim to the new regulation.

As Ship & Bunker reported last year, some analysts believe that tanker rates could get a further boost as tonnage is taken out of service for special surveys or dry docking ahead of the BWM Convention's implementation.

Source: ship and bunker. 17 November 2016

Lack of safety steps caused Gadani tragedy: Report

Islamabad - Lack of safety standards has led to human tragedy as result of fire in a ship at Gadani coast last week.

More than 55 people died over 100 others were injured.

According to informed sources, this fact came to light in the inquiry report of the joint committee of the federal, Balochistan and Sindh governments.

According to sources, there is dismal situation as there is no proper safety regime being followed by the ship breakers.

The report recommended the government to ensure that strict safety measures were adopted to prevent such incidents in the future.

Balochistan government has imposed Section 144 in Gadani since the mishap, which brought the ship breaking business to a standstill.

Sources further said that ship breakers largely hailing from Karachi were struggle to get themselves absolved of any culpability by using various channels including the Balochistan government, which regulated the ship breaking business at Gadani.

Source: the nation. 18 November 2016

NCHR wants fact-finding commission report on Gadani tragedy made public:

KARACHI: The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has demanded that the fact-finding commission’s report on the Gadani ship-breaking yard tragedy be made public.

At a meeting held on Thursday, the NCHR also sought immediate release of compensation for the families of those who lost their lives in the incident and suffered injuries.

The meeting was presided over by NCHR member from Sindh Anis Haroon and attended by members of the fact-finding commission.

Ms Haroon said that working conditions at the ship-breaking yard needed an overhaul, adding that restoration of the labour inspection system in all the four provinces under competent labour inspectors should be considered on a priority basis.

She said that Gadani, being the second largest ship-breaking yard after Taiwan, was a victim of “negligence of relevant agencies and core labour conventions”.

She said that “contract system in all industrial establishments should be abolished” according to a recent decision taken by the Supreme Court. A separate law to facilitate union formation should be devised in line with the Trade Unions Act, 1926. “Ship-breaking needs to be recognised as an industry so that labour rights can be upheld,” she added.

Meanwhile, the burns centre of the Civil Hospital discharged the last two injured of the Gadani incident that took place on Nov 1.

According to the centre’s in-charge, Dr Ehmer Al Ibran, they had received 27 injured on the day of the incident and 10 of them were admitted.

“Among them, seven died within the next three days due to 90 to 100 per cent burns. One was discharged and the remaining two left for their villages against medical advice,” Dr Ehmer added.

One of the doctors at the centre said that many of the injured were referred to Patel Hospital in Gulshan-i-Iqbal which had facilities for treating burn patients.

“In this case, majority of the injured received burn injuries between 80pc and 100pc. Those with minor injuries were shifted to either Patel Hospital or eventually went back to their hometowns,” the doctor added.

At the same time, the death toll remains 28 with about 60 injured and 10 missing. The number of missing labourers is based on the number of families who approached the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), according to its deputy general secretary, Nasir Mansoor.

Both the trade unions and members of the NCHR maintain that the number of dead may vary and “need to be confirmed by relevant authorities and contractors who kept records of workers”.

Source: dawn. 18 November 2016

Closure of work at Gaddani: price of steel bars go up by Rs 15,000 per ton: ABAD

The market price of steel bars, used in construction industry, has gone up by Rs 15,000 per ton, following the suspension of commercial activities at the Gaddani ship breaking yards after recent fire incident that left dozens of people killed and injured.

Mohsin Sheikhani, Chairman of Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD) expressed concern over the government decision of imposing section 144 and suspending all activities at the Gaddani ship breaking yards. He said the government instead of suspending commercial activities at the yard should provide safety measures for this important area, which is the main source of raw material for steel.

He said that the market price of steel bars used in construction industry went up by Rs 15,000 per ton due to closure of work at Gaddani ship breaking yards. He said that builders were now facing hardship to continue work on their ongoing projects due to shortage of steel in local market.

He said that most of the builders were on the verge of closure as the construction work on their projects came to halt, following the hike in the price of steel bar; adding that they had no other option but to raise the rates of apartments to meet the expenditure.

Moreover, he said that almost 20 thousand people connected with Gaddani Ship breaking yards directly or indirectly lost their jobs and demanded the government to immediately lift the section 144 from Gaddani Ship breaking yards and take measures to ensure safety of the workers to avoid such tragic incidents in future.

Source: business recorder. 19 November 2016