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Current Affairs

Ship recycling in Alang

Date: 05 February 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

In her Budget speech, Union Finance Minister spoke about doubling the ship recycling capacity by 2024 and attracting more ships to India from Europe and Japan.

 

Background

World’s largest ship recycling yard in Alang is planning to add 15 new plots to its existing capacity.

 

Details

  • Alang has 153 plots or ship-breaking yards developed on a 10-kilometer long coast in Bhavnagar district. Only 131 plots have been allotted for ship-breaking activities and just 80 plots have ships for breaking.

  • In the year 2011-12, a record 415 ships with a total 3.85 million Light Displacement Tonnage had come to Alang.

  • This was the only year when the Alang ship-breaking had come close to its full capacity of 4.5 million LDT. Thereafter, there has been a steady decline in the number of ships coming for dismantling. 

  • Most of the ships that come to Alang are registered in countries that are considered tax havens like Panama, Barbados, St Kitts & Nevis, etc.

  • Ship owners in European Union own 35 per cent of the merchant vessels of the world. Similarly, Japanese also have a large fleet. There are ship owners from UAE and Russia too. 

  • Both European Union and Japan adhere to strict norms related to dismantling of ageing ships. There are requirements for EU adhering yards.

  • EU norms require categorisation and tracking of every pollutant from the ship, till it is safely disposed of. 

  • Most of the ships from the EU go to Turkey where ship-breaking yards are compliant with EU norms. The EU also sends its old vessels to five such yards in Norway and two in Denmark.

 

Attracting EU and Japanese ships

  • Shipbreakers at Alang feel that as more and more shipbreakers adhere to the centre’s guidelines and get HKC certification, more ships are expected to come to Alang.

  • India hopes that its recent accession to Hong Kong International Convention (HKC) for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships in 2019 will help the country attract more ageing vessels. 

  • Japanese are now ready to send their ships to Alang because many plots are compliant with Class NK certification. 

 

Hong Kong 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.