31 August 2018

Majority of ships sold for scrapping ended on South East Asian beaches

A report from NGO Shipbreaking Platform has revealed that out of the 220 ships scrapped in the second quarter of this year, 169 were sold to the South Asian beaches for dirty and dangerous breaking.

As per the report, six workers died and another seven sustained severe injuries while breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh, between April and June.

An incident that occurred at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India, claimed the life of a worker.

According to the report, 18 deaths and nine injuries were reported at various shipbreaking yards across South Asia so far this year.

Shipbreaking Platform in a statement said: “In the second quarter of 2018, American ship owners sold the most ships to the South Asian yards with 26 vessels beached, followed by Greek and UAE owners.

“American company Tidewater was the worst corporate dumper with 15 vessels beached.

At the end of April, Pakistan re-opened the market to the import of tankers. In two months alone, 22 tankers reached the shores of Gadani to be scrapped.

“Industry sources report that devaluing freight rates have contributed to the demolition of over 100 tankers in the first half of 2018.”

The report also noted that only three ships were operating under European flags, including Greece, Malta, and Norway, when they were sent to beaches for breaking last quarter.

Scrap dealers or cash-buyers were involved in sending all the vessels to the Chittagong, Alang, and Gadani yards.

The dealers who often re-register and re-flag the vessel on their final journeys mostly target grey and black-listed flags.

The report also showed that more than half of the vessels sold to South Asian beaches this quarter changed the flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau, and St Kitts and Nevis, just weeks before their arrival at the beaches.

Source: ship-technology. 27 JULY 2018

Investigations on the Harrier tighten as it reaches Turkey for recycling

Brussels, 29 August 2018 - Norwegian press DN revealed this summer that Aqualis Offshore and insurance company Skuld Maritime Agency are under investigation for their involvement in the attempt to illegally export the Harrier to Pakistan for scrapping. Aqualis Offshore issued two certificates for the ship – one for a break-up voyage to Pakistan, another for a voyage to Oman – and it is suspected that the latter was issued to dupe Norwegian authorities in order to circumvent the European waste export ban. Skuld Maritime Agency was involved in issuing the last-voyage insurance for the vessel and is therefore being investigated for having aided the illegal export.

The former and current owners of the ship, Georg Eide and cash buyer Wirana, are also targeted in the ongoing investigations, and risk being held criminally liable for their attempt to illegally export the Harrier.

“It is encouraging to see authorities enforce the law on ships destined for recycling. Following also the Seatrade judgement in the Netherlands, the Harrier case is yet another warning to ship owners that selling a vessel for the highest price to a cash buyer is dirty business”, says Ingvild Jenssen, Director of NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

Another owner, Herbjorn Hansson of Nordic American Tankers, is under the spotlight in Norway for having sold eight vessels for beaching. Reactions to these revelations have been strong with the Norwegian Oil Pension Fund as well as the banks DNB and Nordea condemning beaching as a method for breaking ships.

The Norwegian Environment Agency urges ship owners to use facilities that have been approved by the EU for the recycling of their vessels, regardless of the flag of their ship. Its director, Ellen Hambro, states that it is unacceptable to endanger workers’ health and pollute the environment in developing countries for the sake of higher profits.

“We support the statements made by the Norwegian authorities and call also upon other stakeholders in shipping, such as insures and financers, to play their part in putting an end to the dirty and dangerous practice of beaching. Safer and cleaner alternatives exist and ship owners must be pushed towards using these facilities”, Ingvild Jenssen says.

Yesterday the Harrier arrived in Aliaga, Turkey, where it will be recycled in line with the European waste laws. Waste Management company Norsk Gjennvinning will be supervising the process.

NGO Shipbreaking Platform
Executive Director and Founder
Tel.: +32 (0)2 6094 419

Source: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

28 August 2018

Perceiving “Beaching” method in Ship Recycling by Dr.Anand Hiremath & Michail Matthaiakis , GMS

There are around 120 ship recycling yards that are currently operational, all using the beaching method of recycling and capable to handle all sizes and types of end-of-life vessels in Alang ,India . Out of these 120 yards, in the last three years 70 yards have invested in improvements in their infrastructure, work procedures and training of the workforce, in line with the technical standards of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC).

The decision makers in the European Union has became apprehensive with the word “beaching” due to the lobbying of some specific groups in the past twelve years .

It is just a process of bringing a vessel near the shore (i.e. near the recycling yard) using the vessel’s own powerwhile taking advantage of the tide. It is widely known that beaching takes place in India and landing takes place in Turkey.

The question which arises is how the Landing method employed in Turkey is different from the method used in India? Practically, both are the same. One will be surprised to know that landing takes place even in the United States (Texas). That means, the process itself is not a problem. The actual problem starts on how the vessel is cut at a yard, after the beaching (or landing, or floating) of the vessel.

But what is the reason so many yard owners in Alang decided to make these significant investments in infrastructure and working standards?
In 2009, the adaptation of the Hong Kong International Convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships, which was then the only International Convention on ship recycling, was the driving force for all the significant upgrades that took place in the ship recycling yards in India. In addition, the Classification Societies started to show interest in auditing yards against the HKC standards.

On top of the above, few ship owners started visiting several recycling yards in South Asia to witness if the high recycling standards were in accordance with the HKC. As a result, in the end of 2015, the first 4 recycling yards in India were certified by ClassNK with a Statement of Compliance (SOC) with the HKC. Soon, more yards joined this virtuous circle with the result that now the majority of Alang works in line with the Hong Kong Convention.

On the other hand, though, while Turkey is claimed to be a green recycling destination, it will be surprising to mention that only 8 yards out of 22 in total, received a SOC with the HKC from the Classification Societies.

As stated earlier, In India, 70 yards have been certified by various Classification Societies with Statements of Compliance (SOC) with the requirements of the HKC out of the total 120 working yards. The capacity of these 70 yards is around 65% of the total LDT capacity of Alang, and as that is nearly 4.5 M ton per year, the SOC certified yards have the capacity to handle nearly 3 M LDT per year.

The above, clearly shows the amount of time, effort and money that has been invested by a significant proportion of the yard owners in Alang, to meet the International recycling standards.

It should be noted that the yards both in Turkey and India are certified by the Classification Societies against the same HKC standards. But even with these high recycling standards in India, currently, only 15 yards are recycling vessels which demand a SOC with the HKC out of the 70 yards in total, which hold a SOC with the HKC.

Yard Owners disgruntled
Although, these yards offer quality recycling services, the majority of owners so far are not interested in quality/green recycling. There have been questions in international conferences recently on when will 100% of the recycling yards in Alang be HKC certified. However the more pressing question that yard owners are asking now in Alang is “Why do we have to achieve 100% certification when the existing SOC yards are not getting enough vessels requiring and paying for HKC standards for recycling?”

What is important to underline is that even though the situation is tough, most of the owners of SOC yards are continuing to invest to further to upgrade their yards to meet the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR) standards, in an effort to be included in the list of the EU-approved yards. Though, only 9 yards (with cumulative recycling capacity of 0.6 M LDT) applied two years ago for inclusion in the EU-List, the approval of these 9 applications from India, will certainly boost the confidence of yard owners and the bar of recycling standards will go further high.

Those Indian yards should be included in the EU-approved list as they hold a certificate from an Independent Verifier in accordance with the requirements of the European Union’s Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR) 1257/2013. Upon the inclusion, the other yards in India will wish to do the same by upgrading their facilities and as a result, Alang will be completely transformed.

Similarly, Bangladesh and Pakistan will be significantly improved as Alang will become the force of change for these recycling locations as well. In case that the yards that have applied for inclusion to the EU list are not approved by the European Commission, then, all the investments in quality recycling will dry up, making those who believed in the green future of ship recycling in the sub-continent, look foolish.

It should be recalled that the objective behind the EUSRR was also to catalyze the early ratification of the HKC. The decision makers should take a pragmatic approach to fullfil the objective than hindering the growth of quality recycling in South Asian Countries – which recyle more than 85% of the total end-of-life vessels per year.

Source: steel-360. 20 August 2018

New regulations will improve ship recycling, but shipowners must help

Feature image
Despite its bad reputation, ship recycling can be carried out safely and in an environmentally friendly manner, even with a low-tech approach

Ship recycling is considered one of the most dangerous and environmentally harmful jobs in the world. With new regulations set to come into force, however, GSR Services aims to make safer, sustainable processes commonplace

The maritime industry is much bigger than most people think. Not only does it account for the transport of more than 90 percent of all traded goods, but the vessels that traverse international waters also have the potential to cause significant damage in the form of oil spills, pollution and the transport of invasive species. While new sustainability regulations have addressed many operational aspects of shipping, the building and decommissioning of vessels still has a serious impact on both the health of workers and the environment.

The image of major ship recycling destinations – such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan – is still generally quite negative. Ship recycling has been considered the most dangerous job in the world, but it can be done safely and in an environmentally friendly manner, even with a low-tech approach.

With this in mind, Henning Gramann established GSR Services in 2011 to improve recycling practices in the dismantling of disused ships. European CEO spoke with Gramann to learn more about the role shipping has to play in global sustainability.

How has ship recycling changed over the years?
Ship recycling has existed since mankind first began using ships. But in the years since the Second World War, the industry has largely moved from Europe to Taiwan and, subsequently, the Indian subcontinent. This is a clear sign that once a country is developed, ship recycling becomes unfashionable. Labour and environmental regulations usually become stricter in parallel to a country’s economic growth, making ship recycling less profitable; there will always be countries with poorer working conditions willing to offer better prices.
In the last few years, however, we’ve seen a change as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) developed a new agreement called the Hong Kong Convention, which sets internationally applicable standards. Even though the convention hasn’t come into force yet, major players in the industry have already started to live up to the requirements, and we have seen a major change on the recyclers’ side.

Not all recycling yards have looked at this developing market, though, which means good and bad performers are often direct neighbours. As such, it’s no longer appropriate to judge the standard of ship recycling by country; instead, standards must be distinguished between individual yards.

How does Europe compare to other regions in terms of ship recycling?
Europe has no significant ship recycling capacity and the few we do have are mostly only capable of handling ships of up to 200 metres. The majority of recycling candidates are much bigger, and of the few EU yards that could accommodate bigger ships and hold a valid permit, most are not active. Therefore, Europe has neither a good market share nor the capability to change this unless new, bigger yards open up.

Further, any ship recycling facility can apply to be on the European list of approved ship recycling facilities. And while European yards are on this list due to their location, their foreign counterparts have to undergo a stringent approval process, one that even some EU yards might struggle to comply with.

The EU is introducing a new regulation for member states. What impact do you think this will have?
Under the relatively new EU Ship Recycling Regulation, ships flying the flag of an EU member state must use ‘safe and sound’ recycling facilities that appear on the European list of ship recycling facilities. Circumventing the EU legislation is very easy, but it does not necessarily mean the owner is going for substandard recycling: the owner can still enter into a contract with a good yard that complies with the Hong Kong Convention but has not applied for the EU list or is still awaiting EU approval.

In short, the positive impact the EU regulation will have is that ships under the EU umbrella or that visit an EU port must have an inventory of hazardous materials (IHM) by the end of 2020. That is the most important document in planning the recycling process of a ship.

Despite this development, challenges and shortcomings persist. What are the most prominent?
The biggest shortcoming is a lack of demand for sustainable ship recycling from shipowners, as many don’t care or simply don’t know about it. As the Hong Kong Convention hasn’t come into force yet, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is still applicable.

As this is truly a land-based and not ship-specific legislation, it is very difficult to comply with. Nearly all ships going for recycling are in breach of the Basel Convention for practical reasons and, therefore, act illegally. Unfortunately, grabbing the low-hanging fruit sometimes appears more attractive to shipowners than acting in favour of a proper, ethical solution.

How can these issues be resolved? And how does GSR work to resolve them?
First of all, the political debate on whether the so-called beaching method, which handles nearly 80 percent of recycling tonnage, is appropriate or not must come to an end. These requirements are fixed in the Hong Kong Convention, which should be used for distinguishing between good and bad ship recycling.

This will make decisions easier for those who have the power to decide where their ships are recycled. It will also establish fair competition based on quality, independent of the recycling method used. All of the different methods have specific advantages and challenges.

Once a common understanding is reached, it becomes clear where to sell ships for responsible recycling. Until this is achieved, only individual efforts and decisions can be taken, but there are guides available that offer sound and independent advice.

As for GSR, we are a knowledgeable and trustworthy business partner. We have all the abilities to prepare ships for sustainable ship recycling, from IHMs via last voyage planning and contracting with recyclers to the supervision of ongoing recycling activities at reasonable costs. We’re not compromising on what we believe is right, as our aim is to change the industry for the long term, not just provide a quick fix.

What developments in ship recycling can we expect in the coming years?
The EU legislation will mean we see more IHMs. That is a good foundation, as long as the IHM quality is right for setting the basis of safe ship recycling. We have actively supported the development of green and safe ship recycling in India for many years and have now reached a capacity of around 100 ships per year. The experience gathered during these projects enables us to achieve the same standards in even less-developed infrastructures.

Green capacity will also increase further to become the norm, rather than the niche market it is today. Additionally, the processes will become more industrialised, requiring higher investments but also achieving higher productivity and revenue at year’s end. For me, it’s important not to reduce the number of workers, but to enhance the working and environmental conditions in order to achieve a truly sustainable future.

Source: European ceo. 21 August 2018

GMS Market Commentary on Shipbreaking in Week 34 - SIGNS OF LIFE!

Signs of life finally started to emerge from the subcontinent markets this week as prices in both Bangladesh and India showed marked improvements and cutting permissions on a multitude of tankers beached in Pakistan are finally set to be issued this coming week. Indeed, local steel plate prices in India have bounced back nearly USD 30/LDT over the last10 days, making up for some of the dramatic declines (to the tune of about USD 50/LDT) witnessed over July and early August. Bangladesh too seems to have regained some of its appetite following an incredibly sluggish summer / monsoon period as many of the VLCCs and large LDT tankers delivered during the first half of the year have been / are in the process of being absorbed, with the likelihood that a growing appetite to acquire fresh tonnage could emerge post-Eid holidays.

Activity in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Turkey has been muted during the week long Eid holiday period. However, given that fundamentals are starting to turn positive in the subcontinent markets and demand too has improved (on the back of a lackluster supply of vessels over the past few months), it is expected to be a busier and more bullish final quarter of the year as has traditionally been the case.

Gadani buyers are also starting to wake up to the stark reality that their well below market offerings are leading them nowhere. However, following re-inspections of several tankers about a week ago and the strong likelihood of cutting permissions forthcoming, the near future could see Gadani Recyclers firming their levels once tonnage starts to be absorbed.

Finally, both China and Turkey remain suspended with almost no possibility for the only open Chinese yard to conclude tonnage. Turkey may stand an opportunity in the weeks ahead, however until present day levels sink in to become the accepted reality for those looking to sell their vessels into Turkey, this market is destined to remain on the sidelines.

For week 34 of 2018, GMS demo rankings / pricing for the week are as below.

Demo Rank
Dry Bulk USD/LDT
Containers USD/LDT
Tankers USD/LDT
USD 420/LT
USD 445 / LT
USD 435 / LT
USD 415/LT
USD 440/LT
USD 430/LT
USD 410/LT
USD 435/LT
USD 425/LT
USD 230 / MT
USD 230/MT
USD 240 / MT
USD 160/ LT
USD 180/LT
USD 170 / LT

Source: steel guru. 28 August 2018