3rd Conference on Ship Recycling Bring out Revealing Facts
A realistic picture at the grass root level of the ship breaking industry in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan unfolded at the’ 3rd Ship Annual conference on Ship Recycling on the Indian Sub-continent’ held on 18th September 2014 at Taj-President Mumbai. Organized by the world renowned Hinode, the event drew participants from various quarters of the globe especially ship builders, recyclers, classification societies representatives, government regulators, charterers, cash buyers and host of others from allied fields.
From the deliberations it was evident that the Indian ship recycling industry is not ready to ratify the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. Yet more apparent is that without India, Pakistan and Bangladesh - the three major ship recycling member countries - not wanting to ratify, the Convention will continue to remain dormant and may get totally sidelined.
But the remarkable development is that even though ratification may not take place most ship recyclers in India and to some extent other countries, were coming around to making their yards complaint with the various regulations of the Convention. With regards the European Union pushing forward their regulation, the only difference with that is that while the beaching method was favored in the sub continent the EU countries insist on the dry docking.
In his presentation on “Technical requirements for and comparison of ship recycling methods”, Henning Gramann, Managing Director of GSR Services GmbH, pointed out, “I do not say that ship recyclers in India, China or Turkey do not take into account the issues set out in the Hong Kong Convention. You can say ship recycling here is sustainable if it takes care of the environment protection and adhere to maintaining proper Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM). The ship recyclers plan can be sustainable provided various alternatives for better waste management enhance preparedness, hinterland waste management, etc. In this context I do not see why the beaching method cannot be acceptable.”
A very remarkable revelation about the Alang ship breakers was made by Komalkant Sharma, Group Chairman of Leela Ship Recycling Pvt Ltd. “Most of the steel produced at Alang is used for conversion through Re-rolling mills and then to the end user where as in Europe it goes through the furnace and then to other processes and then to the end user. Nearly 98 per cent of the material in Alang gets consumed by end users as there is heavy demand for it for use in building industry, for fittings, etc. Every part of the ship is consumed. But the cost of ‘green shipyards’ is nearly 8% to 10% more than ours because theirs is slower and there is loss of opportunities.”
Pravin Nagarsheth an outstanding proponent of the Indian ship recycling industry stated that their trade association has over Rs 300 crores. They have plans to concretize the various yards, provide intensified and improved training to workers and the ship breakers can look for better days ahead as the Indian government has given it an industry status. Besides, the scope for providing employment was tremendous.
Speaking on “Cash Buying: True Economics vs Speculative Economic; what lies ahead”, Siddharth Shah of Star Matrix Ltd., confided, “Cash buyers did not make more than three percent in their business but were providing a win-win situation to both the ship owners and recyclers. We don’t provide finance but only finance relief.” But he added that in the event of the ship owner being given a good price it is the ship recycler who stands to lose.
Ship owners should make it a point to get their IHM certification done especially when the vessel goes for dry docking advised Rakesh Bhargava, Head – Lay-up, Green Recycling and IHM Services of Wilhelmsen Ship Management Sdn Bhd, Malaysia. “IHM is mandatory and ship owners should not wait for the EU Regulations to come into force. Generally, IHM certification for existing ships takes anywhere between three to eight weeks to obtain.”
Certain other aspects of ship recycling were also presented. Among these being the “Role of the Surveyor” which was dealt with by Mandeep Singh Pruthi, Senior Manager of Murray Fenton India and by his colleague from the same organization Capt Sebastian D’Lima a Senior Surveyor. “Ship Recycling Industry in India–Overview and SWOT Analysis.” by Nitin Kanakiya, Honorary Secretary of Ship Recycling Industries Association. The Inaugural address was delivered by Amitava Bannerjee, Chief Surveyor of the Government of India.