16 September 2017

SteelMint Scrap Conference: Fewer ships at sea

The year 2012 may have marked a high tide for ship scrapping volumes, but vessel owners are still finding reasons to scrap portions of their fleets. According to one speaker at SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia, held in Bangkok in September, the average age of scrapped cargo vessels has grown increasingly younger.

SteelMint Scrap Conference: Fewer ships at sea

Jamie Dalzell, who works in Singapore for obsolete ship broker GMS, said the frenzied buildup of cargo fleets in the opening decade of this century continues to yield numerous ships for recycling, and some of those ships conducted very few voyages.

“In 2016 we scrapped a 2010-built vessel,” said Dalzell, who added that the case was part of a trend in the sector. He said when he started in the ship dismantling industry about 20 years ago, “the average age of vessels used to be 30 years. Now, we are regularly scrapping ships that are 10 or 15 years old.”

In 2016 and 2017, the slumping energy sector has meant that tanker ships and offshore oil platforms have become more commonly scrapped, according to Dalzell. The capacity of the ocean freight sector in 2016, despite the recycling activity, still grew by 2.2 percent overall.

Dalzell said the majority of the world’s cargo vessel dismantling continues to take place in five nations: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Turkey. Activity in each of those nation’s has become “greener,” said Dalzell, thanks to operators seeking to comply with the Hong Kong Convention for environmental and worker safety standards.

Sanjeev Garg of United Arab Emirates-based Indicaa Group expressed less certainty than Dalzell that the volume of scrapped ships will remain strong into 2018. “The flow [of vessels to scrap] has come down; it is decreasing,” stated Garg.

He agreed that environmental and safety standards have improved rapidly, pointing to a big difference between “what ship breaking is now and what it used to be.”

Garg said the Indian subcontinent will remain a global leader in ship recycling because of the “gift of nature” that is the continental shelf along those nations’ coasts. The shelf enable gravity to play a role n easily tipping vessels so they can be dismantled.

SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia was Sept. 11-12 at the Avani Riverside Hotel in Bangkok.

Source: recycling today. 15 September 2017

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