19 August 2017

Ship recycling raised at CBRM council:

Nobody wants a shipwrecker in their front yard.

The HMCS Preserver, shown here in drydock at Halifax Shipyards, will soon be broken up at the Sydport Industrial Park. (Staff)
The HMCS Preserver, shown here in drydock at Halifax Shipyards, will soon be broken up at the Sydport Industrial Park. (Staff)

The mere word conjures up images of leaking oil, rusted debris and overseas workers whose lives, in the absence of environmental regulation, are shortened by heavy metals and contaminated fluids. That may have driven Coun. Earlene McMullin’s displeasure during the Cape Breton Regional Municipality council meeting Tuesday.

“I’ve got a little bit of shake in my voice because it’s killing me to sit here and spend council’s time to get clarification on whether ships can be destroyed downtown on Commercial Street,” McMullin said. “I’ll breathe through the enragement, but it just seems so backward that I have to do that.”

McMullin was complaining about differing opinions she received from CBRM staff on whether Canadian Marine Engineering — which bought a waterfront park in downtown North Sydney from the municipality two years ago, bulldozed it and built a marine lift and repair shop — was legally entitled to also cut up ships for scrap metal.

So she asked again in public: “Where CME is located on Commercial Street, does the zoning permit either recycling or breaking of steel-hulled vessels, or any vessel, for that matter?”

“No,” answered planning director Malcolm Gillis.

The rumour that CME wanted to break ships in McMullin’s neighbourhood was sparked by a Transport Canada report that mentioned the company’s capacity for recycling ships of up to 2,500 tonnes.

But as Coun. Kendra Coombs pointed out, CME staff said they don’t intend to break ships in North Sydney, and as Gillis noted, CME owns facilities at other locations, including Dartmouth and Victoria, B.C. where it might be interested in doing that.

The not-in-my-backyard attitude to shipwrecking has not spread to the Sydport Industrial Park, where another company, Marine Recycling, began this week to break up the newly-arrived HMCS Preserver.

The first ship to come to Sydney to “die” in decades, the Preserver is around the 130th for MRC, which was founded by Wayne Elliot in Port Colborn, Ont.

Elliot hoped four years ago to expand to Sydney but after being denied two aged ferries from Marine Atlantic, which has a terminal in downtown North Sydney, he waited, knowing another chance would come along.

“Our federal government decided that Canadian-flagged vessels and government-owned vessels should be recycled in Canada to promote safe recycling as well as provide jobs and raw materials, and not ship those things offshore,” Elliot said.

“There are warships just coming to their end this year, and in a number of years down the road I suppose the frigates will start to be recycled. There are Coast Guard vessels and Department of Fishery vessels, and of course commercial vessels . . the biggest source of our work.”

In Sydney, MRC’s worksite is “not a very large space, really,” Elliot said. “A couple of acres and, of course, the dock. There won’t be materials stored on site. Once the material is processed . . . it will be shipped off site.

“Most of the ship components are metal. . .

“Metal is infinitely recyclable. What today is your vehicle may tomorrow be razor blades or something else. The beauty with metal recycling is the energy saving and of course the savings to the environment.”

When MRC recycles a ship, no part of it ends up in the water, he said. “Before we tow, liquids, oils or any water are removed from the vessel . . . We’ve done a number of successful tows since the new regulations and we’re very much in favour of them.

“When vessels do have accidents, sinkings, it’s those hydrocarbons that just keep on giving the carnage and so we’re fully supportive of that regulation.”

The company has had one major loss, in 2010, when a submarine caught fire as it was being dismantled, Elliot described that as a “freak accident” caused by floating debris.

“If safety is not first and foremost in this business, then one may not be in it too long. We’re very proud of our record. We’re the world’s oldest ISO certified ship recycler, since 2000.”

MRC was an unpaid consultant to Canada’s member of the Basel and Hong Kong Conventions when they were setting the rules and the policies around shipbreaking, Elliot said.

“It has become an environmental business, shipbreaking has. Other parts of the world that are sadly lacking in safety and environmental stewardship have begun to improve their operations. So, it’s all headed in the right direction.”

Source: the chronicle herald. 15 August 2017

Tanker scrapping at its highest in 2017:

More tankers have been sold for scrapping in 2017 so far, and at a younger age, than the previous two years.

According to Alibra Shipping, in 2017 so far, 49 tankers have been scrapped with an average age of 24.5 years. In 2015 and 2016 it was 27.3 and 27.4 years, respectively.

The London based shipbroker reports that a depressed freight market and low spot rates, the lowest since 2014, has led to higher demolitions.

The Greek market has sent the largest tonnage of tankers for recycling. 24% of all tanker tonnage sent for demolition has been done by the Greeks this year, compared to their contribution of 10% throughout the whole of 2016.

Bangladesh is the favourable location over other yards in India. Reportedly, this is because of ongoing environmental regulations that often means fitting technologies is not worth the cost of the ship. Instead, owners are financially better off scrapping their ships and ordering new ones with higher energy efficiency designs and integrated technologies.

Source: hellenic shipping news. 18 August 2017

15 August 2017

Shipbreaking of former navy oiler HMCS Preserver to occur in Sydney Harbour:

Marine Recycling Corp. of Port Colborne, Ont., won a $12.6-million contract to scrap the former HMCS Preserver, a decommissioned Canadian naval auxiliary oiler replenishment vessel, and the auxiliary research vessel Quest.

HMCS Preserver

SYDNEY — Shipbreaking will be done at the McKeil Marine docks, across Sydney Harbour from the downtown marine terminal.

On Friday, officials with the Department of National Defence and Public Services and Procurement Canada were on hand at the Sydport Industrial Park docks to announce a $12.6-million contract to Marine Recycling of Ontario for the disposal of former naval auxiliary oiler replenishment vessel HMCS Preserver and former Canadian Forces auxiliary research vessel Quest.

Earlier this year, Marine Recycling, based in Port Colborne, Ont., also won a $2.6-million contract to scrap the MV Princess of Acadia, which was the former Digby ferry.

The former oiler and ferry are both tied up in Sydney Harbour waiting to be scrapped, while the research vessel is expected to arrive at the docks this fall.

Marine Recycling founder Wayne Elliott said the former Princess of Acadia was supposed to be recycled at the company's Ontario facility, but towing of dead vessels is currently on hold in the St. Lawrence Seaway, so the former ferry is stuck waiting in Sydney Harbour.

Elliott said his company is leasing space at the McKeil Marine docks and has been shipbreaking in Ontario for decades.

Despite the industry's well deserved reputation for being environmentally unfriendly, shipbreaking can be done safely and Marine Recycling plans to follow all environmental regulations, he said.

"Our company ... was the world's first environmentally ISO-certified company, 15 years ahead of the second, since the year 2000," Elliott said during a press conference with Sydney-Victoria MP Mark Eyking.

"And we operate at quite a different standard than the areas of the world that you're speaking of now with all the bad news and the carnage. We're the oldest ship recycler in the world. We've been at it longer than anyone else in the world, and I think this is ship No. 134 with no accidents, no insurance claims, no loss of vessels.

"So it's a pretty good track record and we have no intention of changing that."

Eyking, who was speaking on behalf of acting public services minister Jim Carr, said the latest contract would add 35 direct jobs in Cape Breton and he has no concerns about the environment around Sydney Harbour.

Marine Recycling has a long family history of successful shipbreaking, he said.

"We are very confident in ... their company and the work that they have done, and the work they're going to do here over the next little while," Eyking said. "This is not something that is new to the corporation. They've been doing this in Port Colborne and it's something that we can do well in this country.

"We have the expertise to do it and in an environmentally sound way."

Eyking said several times the ship was being "decommissioned" and that he hoped other decommissioning work would come to Sydney Harbour, but federal officials later said technically Preserver was decommissioned last year in Halifax. They said the latest contract is for shipbreaking, not decommissioning.

Decommissioning involves removing key operating components and taking a ship out of service. Shipbreaking involves cutting the ship up for scrap.

Elliott said all hazardous materials, such as batteries, fuel and oil, were removed from the ship before it was towed from Halifax to Sydney. The ship still contains some asbestos, but Elliott said dangerous materials like that would be handled and disposed of safely and according to regulations.

Workers will test various internal components for dangerous materials, such as asbestos and heavy metals, and then begin cutting the ship apart from the inside, he said.

Once that work is done, the ship's exterior will be cut apart. Many of the materials, including the ship's steel, will be sold for scrap.

Elliott also said much of the work can be done while the ship floats, however the company will eventually install a slip that will allow the ship to be taken out of the water for final dismantling.

He also said the company, based on Lake Erie, has long wanted to work on Canada's East Coast and is now planning to take on its main shipbreaking competitors in Turkey.

"We hope this is the start of a good, long-term operation and relationship," said Elliott.

The steam-driven Preserver was built in 1970 and was paid off — decommissioned — last year in Halifax, after serving as a military supply ship for decades. Her sister ship, Protecteur, was scrapped in Liverpool last year.

Mike Stege, a ship disposal officer with National Defence, said it was "bittersweet" being in charge of dismantling the former Preserver, especially because he served as the ship's chief electrician from 1999 to 2001, overseeing all electrical systems and propulsion.

"It's a bittersweet moment when you look at her now," he said. "You come full circle from a living ship to all of a sudden I'm disposal manager, so that's a little different.

"It becomes a part of you. When you sail with 300 of your best friends for months upon months at sea, you become very close. It's no longer an inanimate object. It lives with you.

"Every ship has a different personality. Completely different. This one, because she has so much sea time, she used to do long deployments of fuelling NATO ships and all that, so we'd be gone for six months at a time. It was nothing in those days for us to sail 200-plus days in a year.

"This one, her nickname is the Heart of the Fleet, basically because she supplies food, water, everything to so many.

"The problem is with her, she's a steam-driven (ship), so as technology advanced, steam is still steam. It was time to put the little lady down. You can't find parts for them anymore."

Retired chief petty officer second class Mike Senman of Eastern Passage spent a brief period aboard Preserver during training in 1988 and served as a marine engineer on the ship from 2002 to 2009.

He said some service members implied the supply ship was a luxury cruiser because of its size and stability on the sea.

However, Senman said, it was also hard work and it was sometimes dangerous.

"A lot of the other sailors would call it the Love Boat because she's big and fat and proud and she rides really well along the ocean," he said. "The destroyers and the frigates tend to bob up and down just because of the way they're cut."

In 1988, Senman had just gone off watch while Preserver was fuelling a NATO ship on one side. On the other side, a British vessel accidentally ran into Preserver and punched a hole in her side above the waterline.

No one was injured in the incident, he said. There was no danger of sinking, and thankfully there was no fire.

Because of the length of time spent at sea, sailors tend to think fondly of ships as their home away from home, and that makes it difficult to watch as ships are dismantled, said Senman.

He happened to see the former Protecteur being taken apart in Liverpool last year, and it hurt.

"You kind of avoid looking at it, but if you do look at it, it's a sad thing to see," Senman said. "Especially the main engineering spaces, like the main engines, the turbines and the gearbox, things that we watched over so carefully all those years to make sure everything was done right ... the heart of the ship.

"And then you see these contractors and they start ripping and tearing things. They have no idea what they're ripping and tearing, but it's like ripping our hearts out watching that stuff go.

"Seeing the main gear wheel on the jetty in Liverpool from the Protecteur ... it's quite sad, quite shocking to see, because some of that gearing is as pristine as it was when that ship was built."

Source: local xpress. 05 August 2017

European Commission reports on feasibility of a financial instrument-NGOs urge that it is necessary to hold the shipping industry accountable:

The European Commission released its report (here) on the viability of a financial incentive for sustainable ship recycling under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation this week. Whilst it acknowledges the benefits for clean and safe ship recycling such an incentive would bring, the European Commission has decided to wait with its introduction. NGOs urge the EU to take action now as it is well documented that ship owners will with ease be able to circumvent the EU Ship Recycling Regulation by simply swapping the flag of their vessel to that of a non-EU State.

The report of the European Commission is based on the study which was conducted by Ecorys, DNV-GL and the University of Rotterdam/Erasmus, and published at the end of 2016. The proposed instrument in the study is in the form of a licence which each ship, regardless of its flag, needs to acquire in order to enter EU ports. This licence can be bought monthly, yearly, or every 5 years, depending on the trading requirements, and will be ship-specific. At the end of the ship’s life, the money spent on buying the licences will have been put aside and can be paid back to the last owner of that ship once it is recycled at a facility which is approved according to the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. Such an incentive will offset the higher profits made when selling to substandard shipbreaking yards and ensure the proper recycling of EU-trading ships regardless of their flags.

In the report published on 8 August, the European Commission sees this system of the Ship Recycling Licence as a workable solution if it is demonstrated that there are many ships that will flag out to circumvent the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, thereby weakening its effectiveness. All EU-flagged vessels will have to be recycled in an EU-approved facility starting from the end of 2018 at the latest. Only once it is clear what the effects of the EU List are on the recycling choices of shipowners, will the Commission consider whether to go ahead with introducing the Ship Recycling Licence. Therefore, if shipowners choose to recycle their vessels responsibly in a facility on the EU List and do not flag out in order to circumvent the Ship Recycling Regulation, the Commission believes that it will not be necessary to introduce a financial mechanism.

However, flagging out at end-of-life is a practice which is already widespread. Most shipowners sell their obsolete vessels to so-called cash buyers. These scrap-dealers become the new owners of the ships and both re-name and re-flag the vessels for their last voyage to the beaching yards in South Asia. Particularly popular registries amongst the cash buyers are the Paris MoU grey- and black-listed flags of Comoros, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis – flags that are known for their poor implementation of laws governing labour rights and environmental protection at sea. Maersk also already threatened that it would flag out its fleet from the Danish registry if the Alang beaching yards they have recently chosen to use are not approved by the EU. Swapping the flag of a ship is easy and makes it very simple for cash buyers and shipowners to circumvent the law. The motivation for doing so is also simple: dirty and dangerous shipbreaking brings higher profits due to the lack of investments in infrastructure, illicit handling of hazardous wastes and extremely poor working conditions. For these reasons the NGO Shipbreaking Platform urges the EU Commission to not wait for the effects of the EU List, but instead show that it intends to take all measures possible to change the current deplorable shipping practices and commit now to making a legislative proposal to introduce a financial incentive.

“The huge benefit of this licence scheme is that it will also apply to non-EU flagged ships, meaning that the scope of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation will be much wider and will truly be a driving force for change in the shipping industry”, says Ingvild Jenssen, Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “Those shipowners that are already taking responsibility for their end-of-life fleet should be supportive of the Ship Recycling Licence as it will create a level playing field ensuring that also their competitors pay the price of clean and safe ship recycling,” she adds.

Legislation based on flag state jurisdiction alone is far too easy to circumvent. That is why more policies aimed at improving the social and environmental performance of shipping is being enforced via port state control. The Ship Recycling Licence is as such in line with international trade law. Taking also into account the widespread acknowledgement that financial incentives are key in ensuring the success of environmental policies, it seems obvious that a return scheme for ships is needed to change the behavior of shipowners that currently earn profits at the detriment of workers’ health and lives and the environment.

Source: hellenic shipping news. 12 August 2017

12 August 2017

Gadani's Shipbreaking Unions Debate Representation:


Following a series of collective bargaining negotiations over wages and labor conditions, the three labor unions for shipbreaking workers in Gadani, Pakistan are engaged in a dispute over which might be the legitimate representative of the yards' workers. The Ship-Breaking Labour Union, Gadani alleges that all of the others are "fake."

At a recent press conference, union finance secretary Musharraf Humayun told The News that "fake groups" held "unauthorized press conferences" and masqueraded as workers' unions. In particular, he singled out Nasil Mansoor of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF). However, workers allege that the Ship-Breaking Labour Union is actually controlled by shipbreaking labour contractors – the employers – and say that they must agree with its views or find themselves out of work.

Last month, NTUF and its partners called for a labor action to protest slow implementation of promised safety improvements, like an ambulance service and a fire brigade. Mansoor claimed that employers had installed out-of-date safety equipment salvaged from ships and had not yet hired ambulance drivers or doctors. But the union reached an accord with shipbreaking employers last Friday, including a 10 percent raise, and it called off the strike. NTUF has worked to avoid yard closures, even while calling for improvements, saying that the yards' impoverished migrant workers would be hurt more by the loss of work.

Gadani has been plagued by a series of deadly accidents over the past year, including the explosion and fire aboard the decommissioned FPSO Aces, which killed at least 26 workers and injured dozens more. Seven workers have died in various accidents over the months since, including five killed in another ship fire in January.

Source: maritime-executive. 09 August 2017

06 August 2017

Consultation on the draft Ship Recycling Regulations 2017

From: Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Published: 21 July 2017

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 15 September 2017

Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s proposals for implementing an effective enforcement regime for the EU Ship Recycling Regulation through the proposed Ship Recycling (Requirements in relation to Hazardous Materials on Ships) Regulations 2017.

Consultation description:
The dismantling of ships is, at present, sustainable from a narrow economic point of view but the costs to human health and the environment are high. Obsolete ships are often sold to facilities on tidal beaches and under unacceptable conditions from the point of view of safety and environmental protection. Existing EU legislation prohibits ships from being recycled in facilities in non-OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) – preventing UK flagged vessels from using suitable yards and securing a reasonable financial return. However, there is widespread non-compliance of the existing regulations, with many shipowners electing to reflag their ship to a non-EU company just before the ship’s end of life. Additionally, the limitation of approved recycling facilities to just OECD countries means there is insufficient recycling capacity to meet demand. Government intervention is required to ensure that sufficient numbers of approved recycling facilities are available for UK flagged ships, and to discourage evasion by ships using sub-standard dismantling facilities.

EU Regulation No. 1257/2013 (the “EU Ship Recycling Regulation”) provides ship owners more flexibility in terms of locations to recycle ships, allowing them to be processed in any approved facility that meets certain minimum standards (regardless of whether they are in the OECD or not). They also include other measures to improve compliance by attempting to reduce the cost differential between compliance and non-compliance. In the longer term, the aim is to reduce significantly and in a sustainable way, the negative impacts of ship dismantling – on human health and the environment – without creating unnecessary economic burdens.

The EU Ship Recycling Regulation is based on the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, and is expected to enter into force at the end of 2017. The purpose of the Hong Kong Convention is to address concerns about safety, health, and environmental damage in the ship recycling industry by regulating the whole lifecycle of the vessel. Although the Convention was adopted in May 2009 it is unlikely to come into force before 2020. The EU Regulation is intended to put member States in a position to comply with the Hong Kong Convention before this date. As the EU Regulation has direct application, the purpose of this SI is to support the EU Regulation by designating responsibility for the carrying out of certain functions and providing enforcement powers.

Ship recycling consultation letter

Ship recycling SI draft

Ship recycling RTA

Source: 21 July 2017

Turkey Proactive on Ship Recycling Convention:

Progress towards the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (2009) has been slow. However, Turkey, one of the world's leading ship recyclers, has again shown its willingness to meet the requirements of the Convention with another yard achieving a statement of compliance.

ClassNK issued the statement to a ship recycling facility in Izmir, Turkey, Isiksan Ship Recycling and Trading this week. Lloyd's Register has already issued six such statements to other yards.

There are only 22 yards in Turkey, and the Turkish Administration has been proactive, having already taken its ratification of the Convention through its Parliament. The Turkish Ambassador is expected to deposit the instrument of ratification at IMO soon. Furthermore, the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication has played an active role in the drafting of the Convention.

Although the Hong Kong Convention has yet to enter into force, Isiksan has carried out substantial improvements to its facility in a bid toward safer and greener ship recycling as well as developed the Ship Recycling Facility Plan required for a competent authority’s certification according to the Convention.

The Hong Kong Convention intends to address all the issues around 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 addresses concerns raised about the working and environmental conditions at many of the world's ship recycling locations.

The text of the Hong Kong Convention was developed over three and a half years, with input from IMO Member States and relevant non-governmental organizations, and in co-operation with the International Labour Organization and the Parties to the Basel Convention.

Regulations in the new Convention cover: the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships; the operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner; and the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements.

Upon entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention, ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, which will be specific to each ship. An appendix to the Convention provides a list of hazardous materials the installation or use of which is prohibited or restricted in shipyards, ship repair yards, and ships of Parties to the Convention. Ships will be required to have an initial survey to verify the inventory of hazardous materials, additional surveys during the life of the ship and a final survey prior to recycling.

The Convention will enter into force 24 months after the date on which the following conditions are met:

 * Ratification by 15 states,
 *  Representation by 40 percent of world merchant shipping (by gross tonnage), and
 * A combined maximum annual ship recycling volume not less than three percent of the combined tonnage of the ratifying states.

So far, Belgium, Congo, France, Panama Denmark and Norway have ratified the Convention. Some believe the Convention’s entry into force could be nearly 10 years away, after many of the world’s most asbestos-laden ships have already been recycled. Others more optimistically expect its entry into force in five years.

Source: maritime-executive. 12 July 2017

210 Ships Sold for Scrap during Second Quarter of 2017

There were a total of 210 ships broken in the second quarter of 2017. 158 of these ships ended up on South Asian beaches for dirty and dangerous breaking. The Platform was able to document five accidents at the shipbreaking yards in Chittagong, Bangladesh, between April and June, which led to the death of four workers and the injury of two.

Ishaq worked as a winch operator and died struck by a cable at the BBC Steel Shipbreaking/KR yard. This is the second fatal accident this year at BBC Steel. Zishan died in an accident at the Ratanpur Steel Re-Rolling mills where iron plates from the ships are transformed for the construction industry. In Jamuna Shipbreaking yard, the Platform reported in May about the death of Shahinoor who fell from the Hanjin Rome, the first ship arrested after the bankruptcy of the Korean container giant Hanjin Shipping. This ship was sold on auction by the Singaporean courts following the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping and should be a harrowing wake-up call to courts and bankruptcy administrators that there are human consequences of selling ships for the highest return price to the beaches. During a nightshift on 21 May, Shochindro Das died when he was hit by an iron pipe. He was working as a cutter helper in the Khawja yard, which shares owner with Kabir Steel. Working during night shifts without protective equipment are particularly graving circumstances that sadly witness of the extremely harsh conditions workers face at the shipbreaking yards in Chittagong. Local sources are claiming that Shochindro Das was only 15 years old, whilst the officially reported age was 26. The Platform will investigate these serious allegations. Child labour at the Bangladesh shipbreaking yards is illegal under Bangladesh law and also under the ILO’s Convention on Worst Forms of Child Labour.

The worst dumping country this quarter was Germany with 16 beached ships, a consequence of the multiple bankruptcies due to the toxic financing that has been characteristic of the German shipping industry. In June, German public television channel ARD documented the appalling conditions under which German ships are broken in Bangladesh. The other leading dumping nations were Singapore with 12 ships, Greece with 9, and South Korea with 8. Though 45 out of the 158 beached vessels this quarter were European-controlled, only four of these had a European flag.

Legislation at the international and European level to regulate the disposal of ships is based on flag state jurisdiction. The flags of the worst dumping countries were however rarely or not used at end-of-life. Flags of convenience, in particular the grey- and black-listed ones under the Paris MOU, are used by cash buyers and ship owners to send ships to the worst breaking locations. Nearly a third (49) of all the ships sent to South Asia this quarter changed flag to typical end-of-life registries only weeks before hitting the beaches: St Kitts & Nevis, Comoros, Palau, Djibouti, Niue and Togo. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer ‘last voyage registration’ discounts. They are grey and black-listed due to their poor implementation of international maritime law.

There were five cases where the ships in question were sent to South Asia in breach of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation. In Bangladesh, the Platform was successful in taking legal action to halt the breaking of the FPSO North Sea Producer which was illegally exported from the UK in 2016. The Platform also alerted this quarter the Brazilian government of several vessels exported to the beaching yards from Brazil in clear breach of UNEP’s Basel Convention.

The worst company was the Singaporean Continental Shipping Line that had six Liberian-flagged vessels that all changed flag to St Kitts & Nevis or Comoros and were beached in South Asia. Quantum Pacific is a close runner-up on second place for worst dumping practices, with four ships sold to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Quantum, owned by Idan Ofer, son of the late shipping mogul Sammy Ofer, has been under the Platform’s radar before as the worst dumper of 2015. The worst dumper of 2016 was UK-based Zodiac Maritime, run by Idan’s brother, Eyal Ofer.

The figures of this quarter not only show how legislation based on flag state jurisdiction will fail in changing the deplorable shipbreaking practices of the shipping industry, they also show that companies such as Quantum and Zodiac have no shame in continuing to exploit vulnerable workers in South Asia for the sake of extra profits.

Source: hellenic shipping news. 13 July 2017

Dry bulk FFA market: The only way is up

After taking various big plunges into the deep, there is no other way for capesize market to go but up. Improved paper market sentiment on paper seems to provide the perfect ingredients for rebound but if there is a need for more cargoes on the physical scene for things to get more rosy.

“A general feeling that rates had finally stopped falling gave rise to some volume buying in the paper market as some short covering and opportunistic buying was evident,” said an FIS FFA broker. As such, the capesize 5TC contract increased from $6,305 on Monday to $7,185 on Wednesday - up 14% in the short span of days.

“It remains to be seen if the physical can actually move up from here but certainly the shift in sentiment was most welcome,” added the broker.

Buoyed by the stronger capesize rates, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) rose to 859 points on Wednesday, up 29 points day-on-day. By mid-week, the index had seen a three consecutive day of rising rates since 7 July.

“Sentiment for the capesize market seems much better, since it has been at a floor for a while and it’s good to see the owners resistance [to fixing at lower rates] has paid off,” according to a shipowner based in Singapore.

Due to the optimistic outlook, Q3 rates are forecasted at $11,600 before reaching $15,500 in Q4. Going forward, the capesize market may improve further if ship scrapping steps up the pace in the latter half of the year. However, currently scrapping has experienced a slowdown as some shipowners are unwilling to part with their older vessels on the basis of improved market conditions.

On the other hand, the panamax market has yielded consistently better results, from a starting rate of $8,516 on Monday rising by $287 or 3% to $8,803 on Wednesday.

“With some improved grain activity further bolstering optimism and some stronger levels being reported for transatlantic fronthaul, we saw another day of gains on panamax paper,” said an FIS panamax FFA broker.

The same optimism was then shared by the supramax freight which found momentum as rates ticked up throughout the week - by mid-week, supramax rates were recorded at $8,118, up 2% from $7,948 recorded on Monday.

“Supramax paper saw rates push from the very start as Q3 was paid $8,800. Then, the prompt ticked up throughout the day as August and September packages traded around $9,000-$9,150 range,” added the Singapore-based FIS FFA broker.

Compared to the larger vessels rates, handysize rates experienced a more stable run with little movement as rates recorded $7,026 on Wednesday, little changed to rates of $6,927 recorded on Monday.

Freight rates in general may still contain the ability to surprise us as we move further into the second half of the year. The lack of fixing activity in the past week has provided a price floor as many trade participants saw little sense to fix vessels at those depressed levels. In the end, common sense and pragmatism finally prevailed with freight rates again pricing at reasonable levels - in the true spirit of free market economics and ripe for market pickings.

Source: seatrade-maritime. 14 July 2017

Former Digby ferry may be scrapped in Sydney Harbour

Marine Recycling Corp. of Ontario has won a $2.6-million federal tender to scrap the MV Princess of Acadia — the former Digby ferry — which has been tied up at a private dock in Sydney Harbour. A spokesman for the shipbreaking company says details on the work are still being worked out.

SYDNEY — Marine Recycling Corp. has won a $2.6-million federal tender to scrap the former Digby ferry, and a spokesman for the Ontario company says the work may be done in Sydney Harbour, where the vessel has been tied up while awaiting demolition.

The 146-metre-long MV Princess of Acadia, built in 1971 to run between Digby and Saint John, N.B., was taken out of service two years ago and replaced by a modern vessel. Earlier this year, the federal government moved the former ferry to a private dock at Sydport Industrial Park, across from the downtown cruise ship terminal, and issued a request for proposals to scrap it.

Wayne Elliott, director of business development for Marine Recycling, said the company expects to issue a news release on its plans in the next week or so.

"That's still being worked on," he told Local Xpress.

The tender called on the successful bidder to scrap the ship and dispose of or recycle the materials, and to dispose of any hazardous remains. The work is to be completed by June 30, 2018.

Marine Recycling won the tender with a bid of $2,662,783. The company, located in Port Colborne on Lake Erie, has run Help Wanted ads online, seeking health and safety workers and security guards for an unspecified number of jobs in Sydney.

Nothing has been decided yet, Elliott said, but it's a possibility the ship could be scrapped in Sydney Harbour.

"Anything's possible," he said. "We will be doing some work in Sydney, for sure."

Source: local xpress. 13 July 2017

Arihant to tow Lucky 7 back to MPT

PANJIM: Golden Globe Hotel Private Limited has signed an agreement with Arihant Ship Breakers to tow the grounded offshore casino vessel M V Lucky 7 back to Mormugao Port Trust (MPT).

A senior government official told Herald that the casino firm, owned by Haryana’s former minister Gopal Kanda, entered into the agreement following instructions from Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to tow the vessel back to MPT.

“Since the vessel has run aground off Miramar beach and is not in a position to sail back to MPT owing to various reasons include unfavourable weather and sea condition, an expert in this field is the only option. As such, the firm and the salvaging agency have entered into this agreement. Government has no role to play at this stage except for monitoring the situation,” he said.

The vessel has over a dozen crew members still on board while four – three suffering from sea sickness and one injured – were rescued on Sunday by the Indian Coast Guard.

Lucky 7 is moored off Miramar beach after at least three-four attempts to reach the designated spot off Campal failed.

Arihant had earlier being tasked with removing the ill-fated M V River Princess vessel from Sinquerim.

Source: herald goa. 19 July 2017

Ballast Water Convention Extension May Delay Recovery in Tanker Market

While the tanker market was previously counting on the implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention in September 2017 to raise scrapping levels amidst low earnings as well as high retrofit costs (US$1 to 2 million), the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) recently decided to delay its implementation by two years. The convention requires all existing vessels to install approved Ballast Water Treatment Systems at the first renewal of the International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) survey after the enforcement date.

The delay is expected to slow demolition activity over the next few years, subsequently postponing any substantial recovery in tanker rates which have been heavily pressured by the perennial state of tonnage oversupply. According to BIMCO, 2.6 million dwt of tanker capacity was sold for demolition in 2016 while 1.3 million dwt was demolished from January – April 2017.

While overall demolition levels in 2017 are expected to outpace that of last year, the relentless pace of newbuild deliveries and recent uptick in orders still point to weak supply side fundamentals. At present, vessels older than 15 years account for around 23% of the overall crude tanker fleet. The presence of older tonnage has weighed heavily on freight rates by offering significant discounts, with spot VLCC rates for the benchmark AG/Japan route currently around 48% lower than at the beginning of the year. The evident reluctance of ship owners to scrap ageing tankers spells a long way to recovery for the tanker market.

Source: OFE insights

Source: hellenic shipping news. 21 July 2017

Ship graveyards: Scotland's links to deadly industry revealed

More than 150 vessels built on the River Clyde ended up in ship breaking yards in Asia.

The men who work in the ship breaking yards of South Asia do one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

Dozens are killed every year in fires and explosions, crushed by falling metal or poisoned by toxic fumes.

At least 52 people lost their lives in 2016, although the actual number may be far higher as shipyard owners refuse to discuss accidents and do not release figures.

Most workers earn less than £4 a day, while corporations make millions selling to yards in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Graveyard: Rusting hulks in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

An investigation by STV News has revealed Scotland's ties to this deadly industry and traced more than 150 ships that began their lives on the Clyde and ended up as scrap in South Asia's ship graveyards.

Among them was the Empress of Britain, one of the last great ships built in Glasgow and launched by the Queen at the Fairfield Shipyard in June 1955.

Chittagong: Worker seeks shade under umbrella at the Bhatiary Yard.

She was a liner, 600ft long and could carry 1000 passengers, though at the leisurely pace of 20 knots she took more than a week to cross the Atlantic.

The Empress changed hands and names half a dozen times during 50 years in service, outliving most of her sister ships by two decades or more.

In 2008, after an accident at anchor, her latest owners decided the ageing liner had reached the end of her life and she was sold to a shipyard in India.

In early June, the Empress was sailed into shallow waters off the coast of Alang and at low tide she was rammed on to the beach, stranding her upright in the sand.

Over the next few weeks the Empress was stripped bare. Her steel skeleton was left to rust in the surf while the scrap taken from her hull was sold off for recycling.

Beached: Empress of Britain, far left, scrapped in Alang, India.

Most of the work is done by hand and very little machinery is involved.

Ships weighing upwards of 25,000 tonnes are cut apart piece by piece using blowtorches and saws, and the valuable metal is taken away to be recycled.

Despite the dangerous conditions, workers are usually given little or no protective gear and health and safety regulations are practically unenforced.

In its latest report on the Chittagong ship breaking yards, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (GLHR) quoted one worker saying: "The government authorities sometimes visit the ship breaking yards. Only then does yard supply us with safety gear.

"They take it away when government officials leave the yard."

Men who are injured often have to wait hours or days for medical attention.

Child labour is also common despite being illegal across South Asia and there are reports of boys younger than 12 working on the beaches to support their families.

Children: Boys play on lifeboats taken from scrapped ships.

Jamie Webster, a former Clyde shipbuilder who worked as a welder from the 1960s, said: "The conditions they're working in are worse than the conditions we were working in 40 years ago.

"They just accept fatalities, things like people falling off ships, which would never be tolerated in the West. The people who work there are almost like cannon fodder.

"It's driven by money before people... nobody should go to work to put their lives at risk," he added.

Remains: Leftovers from the scrapping process in Chittagong.

Last year in Pakistan, 28 workers were killed and 60 injured when a gas cylinder exploded inside a ship, sparking a fire which blazed for four days.

The families of the victims received less than £11,000 in compensation.

In Bangladesh, two friends from the same village died on their first day when a ladder dangling from the deck of a ship snapped under their weight.

One their workmates told GLHR: "The death of a worker is actually the death of a whole family.

"They were the main bread earners of their family. They are dead and now their families are dead."

The company that sold the vessel they were dismantling reportedly made £4m from the deal, while most shipyard workers earn less than 30p an hour.

Gadani: Fatal blaze claimed 28 lives.

Another worker employed in the same Chittagong yard said: "I work inside the ship where it is riskier but I only make £3.53 a day. My helper only gets £2.26 a day. We cannot support our lives on what we are making."

Ship owners sell to yards through brokers, who find buyers and arrange the sale. Payment is usually made up front and often in cash.

Buyers often change the names and flags of ships before selling them to shipyards, making them harder to trace.

Shipowners often demand this is done in order to distance them from the sale, one broker told STV News.

Ship breaking is equally hazardous to the environment. Pollution released during the process builds up on beaches or is washed out by the tide, threatening local wildlife.

Ingvild Jenssen, director of the Brussels-based non-governmental organisation Shipbreaking Platform believes responsibility lies with shipowners.

"They are can choose to opt for a facility that has better protective equipment for workers and that operates on an industrial platform like a drydock," she said.

"New EU ship recycling regulations will be applicable from next year and the European Commission will be publishing a list of facilities worldwide which comply with environmental and health and safety standards, so it will be extremely easy for any ship owner that wants to make a responsible decision to choose one of those facilities."

There are signs the situation in parts of South Asia may be improving, however, with increasing numbers of shipyards taking steps to meet international regulations.

Last year, four new yards in India were certified.

There is some hope for the Clyde, too, as earlier this week steel was cut on the first of eight Royal Navy frigates being built at the BAE Systems shipyard in Govan.

HMS Glasgow is under construction a stone's throw from where the Empress of Britain was launched six decades ago and the work promises to safeguard jobs well into the 2030s.

"I was 16 years of age when I arrived here and it was an amazing place," added Mr Webster.

"It was very noisy, very dirty. The conditions were hard but the people were fantastic and there was a great buzz about it. We built fantastic ships here.

"Like they say," he said. "Glasgow made the Clyde and the Clyde made Glasgow".

Source: 24 July 2017