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Chittagong Shipbreaker Fined for Scrapping Grounded Ship

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The Crystal Gold aground at Parki Beach, March 2018 (Hasan Chowdhury / social media)

By The Maritime Executive 2019-01-07 20:36:00

A Bangladeshi shipbreaking company has been fined $240,000 for dismantling a grounded vessel at an unapproved location in Chittagong.

The scrapping of beached ships is a common practice in Chittagong, which is home to Bangladesh's busy shipbreaking industry. Every year, hundreds of vessels from all over the world are driven onto a seven-mile stretch of beach just north of the city center, where they are cut up for scrap steel. This area of industrial activity is also an alleged source of pollution, as the vessels are dismantled on a tidal flat with little physical containment. 

On the other side of the city, 15 miles south, is Parki Beach - a long stretch of sand that is advertised as an attraction for international tourists. Two years ago, the decommissioned bulker Crystal Gold went aground on Parki Beach during Cyclone Mora, and she has remained there since. 

According to the Chittagong Region of Bangladesh's Department of Environment, a shipbreaking firm based in Chittagong has been caught illegally scrapping the Gold in place. Shipbreaker Four Star Enterprise allegedly fenced off the vessel without a permit and began dismantling it, leading to damage to the local ecology in an area not designated for shipbreaking. 

The department issued a notice to Four Star Enterprise compelling the firm to appear in a hearing on Sunday, and it fined the company Tk 2 crore ($240,000) after the proceedings.