This group tracks the responses of shipping industry towards environmental health concerns, highlights influence of shipping companies from EU, US and Japan etc on IMO and its Marine Environment Protection Committee & South Asian governments. It is keen to restore beaches in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to their pristine glory for the coming generations. For more information visit:,


Ministries hold meetings on affairs of Alang Beach

Sources have informed that K. Mohandas, Secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and Rajeev Gupta, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and Ms. Jacinta. Jose, Deputy Secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping hosted an inter-ministerial meeting at Parivahan Bhawan,New Delhi on 21st July, 2010. It was attended by three representatives of the ship-breaking industry among others.

The meeting dwelt on pre-cleaning of end-of-life ships, responsibility of ship owners, prior consent of exporting country and IMO treaty among other things.

Dr Dalip singh, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Steel and Focal Point of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Shipbreaking was also present. Officials from Environment Ministry were also attended it as the ministry is the focal point for Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. This UN treaty addresses cleaner production, hazardous waste minimization and controls on the movement of these wastes. India is a party to this treaty. Basel Convention Secretariat takes cognisance of the relevant national decisions with regard to ship dismantling. The Secretariat maintains a full-text collection of selected case law of national and regional courts on enviromentally sound management of ship dismantling. These are accessible here:

Basel has Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of the Full and Partial Dismantling of Ships. These Technical Guidelines were adopted by the sixth Conference of the Parties in Decision VI/24. In that Decision, Parties and others were invited to use the Technical Guidelines and to report to the Seventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, through the Secretariat, on their experience and any difficulties or obstacles encountered in the application of the Guidelines, with a view to improving them as necessary and required.

Technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of the full and partial dismantling of ships are available in Bengali, Hindi, Turkish and Urdu (Copyright, Part I, Part II)besides English.

The 21st July meeting was attended by A. Banerjee, Chief Surveyor-cum-Additional Director General. It was attended by Ms. Lakshmi Venkatachalam, Director General of Shipping as well.
DG Shipping is a Statutory Authority constituted under Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 whose major activities include ensuring safety of life and ships at sea and International Convention relating to maritime matters among other things.

There would be a preparatory meeting in Mumbai on 7th August to finalize India's position at the 60th Meeting of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

Sources have informed that Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC)on ship-breaking will hold its next meeting in Alang and Bhavnagar on 25th August, 2010. The general issue of control and management of hazardous waste has been under consideration in the Supreme Court in writ petition no. 657 of year 1995. The various State Governments/Central Ministries were affected in this case and Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) was the nodal Ministry.

During the course of deliberation, the Supreme Court issued the various orders, the first important order being on 14 th October, 2003. In pursuance of the Supreme Court order dated 14 th October, 2003, and at the request of Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Steel set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) vide order dated 12 -01-2004 followed by an addendum order dated 20-4-2004 under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary and FA with members of Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), Ministry of Labour, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), Central Pollution Control Board, Indian Steel Scrap and Ship breakers Association of India (ISSSAI), Mumbai Port Trust, Kolkata Port Trust etc. for the implementation of Supreme Court Orders and other related functions.

So far, IMC has held meetings on 5-2-2004*, 11-6-2004, 19-1-2005, 28-6-2005, 1-02-2006, 21-9-2006, 17-1-2007 & 9-8-2007*, 28-2-2008, 4-2-2009 and 5-10-2009; coopted members of other organizations; discussed various issues pertaining to ship breaking industries and issued a large number of directions in line with the Supreme Court Orders. There were meetings in 2010 as well but its proceedings are known so far.

Denmark & China. Maersk wants to end 'beachings'

06 July 2010
A.P. Moller - Maersk has a policy on responsible ship recycling at least five years before international requirements on workplace safety and environment enter into force.

A large part of the world shipping industry still uses once pristine tidal beaches in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan as a junk yard.

Between 60% and 80% of the world’s out-of-service vessels are sailed on shore there and cut to bits and pieces by thousands of workers, often barefooted, and often with no safety protection whatsoever. Accidents, explosions and deaths are commonplace in what is the world’s most dangerous work place, according to the UN’s International Labour Organization, ILO.

The scene is different at the China Changjiang Ship Recycling Yard in Jiangyin near Shanghai.

The yard, used by Maersk, lives up to stringent international standards for safety and environment. Standards that are now also part of the Group policy approved by Maersk’s Executive Board in January.

To date Maersk has successfully recycled ships in China without a single injury.

“When we sell a ship to be recycled in a responsible way, we often get USD 1 million less than what we could have obtained otherwise. But that’s the cost of being a responsible corporate citizen,” says Soren Andersen, Head of Maersk Line Vessel Management.

Traditionally Maersk has sold its ships long before the end of their operating life, but up until the mid-1990s a few of the Group’s vessels were nevertheless scrapped when no better alternatives were available.

Still, Maersk decided early on to invest in responsible dismantling methods and became one of the first movers in the industry. By 2008 the executive arm of the European Union held up Maersk as a good example.

“European ship owners can be expected to act in a spirit of corporate social responsibility. Practical examples for this exist already today,” The European Commission wrote in a strategy paper. The word “examples” referred directly to Maersk.

Now, international requirements are approaching within an estimated five years, and Maersk is making a business out of responsibility. A special unit for ship recycling takes in outside clients as well.

“Recycling is a very dangerous business, but it doesn’t have to be more dangerous than building ships. It’s the same thing, only in reverse,” says Tom Peter Blankestijn, Director of Maersk Green Ship Recycling.

Green organisations are indeed lauding Maersk for being ahead of the rest of the industry.
“We applaud Maersk for showing leadership and taking a stance against the dangerous and polluting practice of breaking ships on tidal beaches,” says Ingvild Jenssen from the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking.

Maersk Green Ship Recycling
From 2000 to 2010, the A.P. Moller - Maersk Green Ship Recycling has recycled more than 50 ships. In 2009 the team has supervised 20 ship recyclings in China, of which 7 were from third parties.

The yard in Jiangyin is ISO 14001 and OHSMS 28001 certified.

Maersk Green Ship Recycling monitors on a daily basis to ensure the yard lives up to requirements.

Fire mishap leaves one dead at Alang shipyard

Fire mishap leaves one dead at Alang shipyard
July 24, 2010
RAJKOT: A fire accident at Alang ship breaking yard in Bhavnagar district left one worker dead and four others injured on Saturday, official sources said.

The accident occurred at about 11:30 am at Alang ship breaking yard's plot number 78 when some workers were cutting a scrap piece with gas cutter near a ship's engine room. Though the fire was brought under control shortly, but by then it had claimed the life of Shamshaulla Sheikh (27), who died on the spot. The injured are being treated at referral hospital in Alang and Civil Hospital in Bhavnagar. The condition of the one of the injured being treated at the Civil Hospital is reported to be serious, sources said.


Ship Recycling Safety in Pakistan Explored at UN Workshop
Submitted by editor on July 23, 2010

In an effort to improve the health, safety and environmental standards in the ship-
recycling industry in Pakistan, the United Nations Environment Programmes
Secretariat of the Basel Convention convened a three-day international workshop on Ship Recycling Technology and Knowledge Transfer in Izmir, Turkey.

The workshop, which was held in cooperation with the Government of Turkey and the Ship Recyclers Association of Turkey, ended today with progress being made on strengthening the understanding of the Conventions role in the international regulatory regime of ship recycling.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal has been involved in the issue of ship recycling since the late 1990s. While the Convention applies to the recycling of end-of-life ships, it has been difficult to enforce over the years due to its provisions.

In May 2009, the International Maritime Organization ( IMO ) adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The Convention, which has yet to come into force, places specific requirements on ships from their design and construction to their operation and recycling.

The South Asian region, namely India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, dominates the global ship-recycling industry, currently occupying 70 to 80 percent of the market, with China and Turkey occupying much of the remainder.

A delegation from Pakistan attending the UNEP workshop was comprised of representatives of both Government and industry. They sought to learn from the improvements made in the ship-recycling industry in Turkey and implement the practical, regulatory and institutional changes back home in Pakistan.

The workshop has been an opportunity to assist the Government of Pakistan and its industry to improve its regulatory, institutional and infrastructural capacity to fulfill the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention and the relevant requirements of the Basel Convention in relation to ship recycling, particularly those dealing with the downstream management of hazardous and other wastes.

We believe that this workshop does not only address needs of individual countries or regions, but will also contribute towards defining the respective scopes of the two international conventions and will in this way enable a better and clearer international regulatory regime, said Dr. Nikos Mikelis of the IMO.

Speaking of the initiative in Izmir, Ms. Katharina Kummer Peiry, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention, remarked: There is a real willingness on the part of the Pakistani Government and industry to make improvements to this important industry and bring about enduing changes to the prevailing safety, health and environmental conditions in Gadani. We are thus grateful to the Government of Turkey and the Ship Recyclers Association of Turkey for extending a helping hand at this crucial time of need.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/Head of Media, Nairobi, + 254-20-7623084; + 254-733-632755 ( m ); +41-79-596-5737 ( m2 ), e-mail:

Michael Stanley-Jones, Press Focal Point/Public Information Officer, Joint Services of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, + 41-22-917-8668; ( m ) + 41-79-730-4495,

e-mail: or

Source: Media Newswire

Shipbreaking prices weaken, but still higher than year-ago

21 Jul 2010

Despite declining in the last couple of months, prices paid for ships for scrapping remain about $100/tonne above where they were a year ago.

Russian ship engineer goes missing at Alang, search on
19 July, 2010

A Russian crew member of an LPG carrier beached at Alang Ship Breaking Yard in Bhavnagar district has gone missing. Now, even after 48 hours search by multiple agencies have proved futile.

LPG carrier Summerset, with a total of 19 crew, including four Indians, had beached on plot number 113 at the Alang Shipbreaking Yard around 9 pm on Saturday.

But by the time the vessel was beached, Russian crew member Yasil Yev was found missing.

The Bhavnagar police said: “Captain Keskov has registered a complaint with the Alang police station. Multiple agencies – the Local Crime Branch, Marine Police and Customs have launched an intense search.”

Bhavnagar police said shipping agent G M Bakshi Renu Gopal has said Yev is an electric engineer.

The police have ruled out foul play, but have said it is keeping all options open. There is the possibility of Yev having met with an accident too, the police said.

“For the same, we are undertaking an intense search of each and every part of the ship. On their part, the marine police are busy conducting a search between the shore and the vessel anchorage point,” said an officer.


Worries grow over shipbreaking plan for Swan Hunter site

Jul 21 2010 by Adam Jupp, The Journal

(Dismantling work in progress of a Ghost Ship on Teesside)

CONCERNS have been raised that moves to bring shipbreaking work to the Tyne could hinder wider plans for a green industrial revolution along the river.

It has emerged North Tyneside Council is in talks over a contract that would see a decommissioned military vessel dismantled on the Swan Hunter site, in Wallsend.

Along with regional development agency One North East, the authority bought the yard for more than £9m in September.

Previous Ghost Ship stories

* Toxic ship court battle
* New twist in ships battle
* French carrier joins Ghost Ships in Hartlepool

The purchase was part of a larger strategy to turn the Tyne’s north bank into a world-leading centre of excellence in the offshore renewable energy sector.

A £500,000 study identified the future of Swans as a key component of that strategy and bosses as North Tyneside Council have previously signalled their intention to create a “learning village” on the site.

It is understood the council is talking to an environmental services firm currently bidding for the contract to dismantle the RFA Oakleaf, which was taken out of service by the Ministry of Defence last year.

If successful, the work would be done at Swans, creating around 40 jobs in the process, which North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley says is something that “cannot be ignored.”

But critics have said the move hinders progress towards creating as many as 6,000 jobs through the green strategy.

North Tyneside Labour group leader Coun Jim Allan said: “This is not the kind of work we would have encouraged for Wallsend.

“We are interested in 6,000 jobs coming to the area in the renewable energy sector and we are concerned this will act as a deterrent to any new industry coming to the Tyne.

“We don’t want to be used as a scrap yard and I don’t think the people of Wallsend would want that.”

Around £50m of private and public money has been invested in turning the region into a hub for green energy.

Funding was given to American firm Clipper to locate in a new factory on the site of the former Neptune shipyard, on Walker Riverside, where they will make prototype turbine blades for giant wind farms set to be developed off the British coast.

Meanwhile, the New and Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) has secured a series of grants to test blades and full turbines at their site in Blyth.

Major players in the manufacturing of turbines – including Mitsubishi and Siemens – have signed agreements with the Government, stating their intention to bring their research and development and fabrication operations to the UK.

The North East is understood to be in competition with Humberside for the work and that has heightened fears that using Swan Hunter for dismantling a ghost ship could discourage investors from choosing the region.

Ms Arkley said: “We have very ambitious plans for the north bank of the Tyne.

“However, I believe it’s really important to consider any shorter term opportunities that could provide much-needed jobs for local people and a boost to the local economy.”

Any decision on the use of Swan Hunter must be agreed in writing by One North East.

A spokesman for the RDA said: “We are aware of potential interest in short-term uses for the site and will continue to discuss these with our partners at North Tyneside Council.”


Russian ship crew member goes missing
July 19, 2010

BHAVNAGAR: Officials of Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and Alang police station have been put on alert ever since a Russian crew member of an international ship anchored at Alang ship breaking yard went missing on Saturday.

According to GMB and police officials, the crew member, identified as Vensiyevev Igwin, on board Summerset ship from Russia, was reported to have gone missing since Saturday night. "The ship was anchored at the yard on Saturday evening. At night, ship captain Keskoveserji had alerted GMB officials and police about one of his crew members having gone missing," said a GMB official.

The ship has the crew strength of 19. Igwin was serving as an electric engineer. Meanwhile, police have intensified the search for Igwin. When contacted, shipping agent JM Bakshi could not give a satisfactory answer. Police are also investigating whether the shipping agency had the idea about the missing crew and whether the information was deliberately concealed.

PSM wants law to ban rebars made from ship breaking plate cuttings

SteelGuru - 18 Jul 2010
Some unscrupulous builders are using poor quality mild rods in buildings and bridges, extracted from ship breaking scrap and this may cause fatal accidents.

Mr Imtiaz Lodhi the acting CEO of the Pakistan Steel Mill said that the company has asked the government to introduce a law banning the use of substandard mild rods in the country.

Mr Lodhi said that “There are no standards of construction here. Some unscrupulous builders are using poor quality mild rods in buildings and bridges, extracted from ship breaking scrap and this may cause fatal accidents. We want the parliament to pass a bill making use of quality bars obligatory.”

However, Mr Shamoon Baker chairman Karachi Iron and Steel Merchants’ Association said that there was no reason to believe that the mild rods produced from scrap was substandard. He said that “The strength of these rods gets restored after reprocessing and rerolling. Have you ever heard that gold has become scrap? It remains gold forever.”

Mr Baker said that the only raw material available in abundance is plates of broken ships and scrap.

The demand of mild rods in Pakistan is roughly 2.5 million tonnes per year and broken ships make up for a major chunk of this requirement which hovers around 70% or 1.7 million tonnes. There are more than 350 re rolling mills in the country while only two dozens mills were producing mild rods from billets.

(Sourced from the

GFMS weekly report on ship breaking industry for WEEK 27
14 July 2010

A busier week on the sales front saw a number of large LDT and high profile units committed to buyers in both Pakistan and India. Following on from the sale of the TMT controlled VLCC FRONT SABANG last week for USD 415/LT LDT to Pakistan, the local buyers there bagged another large wet unit with the Thai owned Aframax tanker SRIRACHA ENERGY achieving an extremely firm USD 420/LT LDT. This is the highest we have seen for a standard tanker since the markets tumbled by about USD 100/LT LDT recently, a sign perhaps that improvement is starting to hold.

India continued with its acquisition of a variety of units as the buying continued at pace even though sentiment for the week was down about USD 10 per tonne. With China struggling to achieve any continuity or firmness in its levels and Bangladesh still no nearer to resolving issues with the High Court, tine West Coast India - Pakistan range remains the focus for most sales and deliveries.

Meanwhile, tine Bangladesh saga continues and local recvclers remained eager but unable to acquire any tonnage. There were rumors that in the week ahead, a critical meeting is set for July 12, which would be significant in deciding the immediate future of the local recycling industry.

China levels stuttered again for the week having tumbled sharply over the past month and local buyers there have become hesitant to commit to vessels. As a result, with very few-recent sales, it is becoming increasingly hard to peg the reality on price. Failed deals and levels far from the competition in Pakistan and India have seen many vessels diverted away from the clutches of Chinese buyers recently.

Country Market Sentiment GEN CARGO TANKER
India Unstable USD375/ltldt USD405/ltldt
Pakistan Unstable USD360/ltldt USD410/ltldt
China Unstable USD335/ltldt USD360/ltldt
Bangladesh Unstable N/A N/A

(Sourced from GMS Weekly)

Emerging Environmental Requirements for Foreign Transfers of U.S.-Flag Vessels
14 Jul 2010, Blank Rome LLP
US Shipping Law

In general, the transfer of a U.S.-flag vessel to another registry and/or to a non-U.S. citizen owner requires the prior approval of the Maritime Administration (“MARAD”) under 46 U.S.C. § 56101 (which is the current codification of Section 9 of the Shipping Act, 1916, as amended). Specifically, subject to certain exceptions, Section 56101 prohibits the sale, lease, charter, delivery, or other transfer (and any agreement to do so) to a non-U.S. citizen of any interest in, or control of, a U.S.-flag vessel owned by a U.S. citizen and the transfer of a U.S.-flag vessel to a foreign flag. In addition, the prohibitions of Section 56101 apply to vessels whose last documentation was the U.S. flag.

The Convention also requires that each member state ensure that ship recycling facilities within its borders conduct ship scrapping in an environmentally ...



Nexus in shipbreaking business: CBI begins probe in Alang

AHMEDABAD: THE Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Gujarat unit, has started investigating the ship-breaking business in Alang in Bhavnagar for suspected undervaluation of ships brought to the state for scraping.

CBI has begun its probe after two ships were recently brought from the Gulf for dismantling.

Agency officers said three teams are questioning bank officials about documents prepared in connection with the payments and the valuation of the ships. The CBI team is also perusing documents of the ship-breaking firms and the sellers.

Sources said their inputs showed that ships brought to Alang for dismantling were not being valued properly.

The ships were being undervalued in order to evade Excise Duty to the Customs and the Excise Department. Besides, there are irregularities in the payment of Excise as well, they said.

Jul 08 2010
Indian Express