Four ship recycling yards in Alang, India, have been certified based on the E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation and have submitted their applications for inclusion in the E.U. recognized yards list.
IRClass Systems and Solutions, an entity promoted by Indian Register of Shipping, has certified: Priya Blue Industries, Shree Ram Vessel Scrap, R.L. Kalathia Ship Breaking and Leela Ship Recycling.
These yards are India’s first recycling yards to be certified based on E.U. standards.
India is home to one of the largest shipbreaking facilities in the world with over 150 yards along its coast. On an average, close to 6.2 million GT is scrapped in India every year, which accounts for 33 percent of the total scrapped tonnage in the world.
The policy on E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation mandates vessels under the E.U. flag to be scrapped in recognized ship breaking yards. In the past four years, approximately 310 E.U. flagged vessels were scrapped, out of which 107 were scrapped in India, amounting close to 4.3 million tons in deadweight.
The potential recognition of the yards by the E.U. is anticipated to make them the preferred option for E.U. shipowners despite the potential increase in costs required to meet higher health and safety and environmental standards.
The E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation has generated confusion, because it initially mentioned that beaching was not an acceptable method. It was later that they clarified that each facility will be verified individually and will not be disqualified purely on basis of method of recycling followed or its geographical locations.
The potential E.U. ban on beaching could have a most significant impact, said Dr Nikos Mikelis, non-executive director, of cash buyer GMS. “Unfortunately, it is not the positive impact that some commentators would lead us to believe. Two thirds or more of the world’s ship recycling is still conducted on beaches in South East Asia, and improving the working conditions and environmental impact of these yards is central to the Hong Kong Convention.
“By preventing the progressive and more CSR-savvy European market from using the Convention compliant yards in this region, which is what a ban on beaching would achieve, the E.U. regulation would torpedo the progress being made to improve the safety and sustainability standards of recycling,” says Mikelis.
he E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation entered into force at the end of 2013, and its requirements are phased-in between December 31, 2015, and December 31, 2020. The list of recognized yards is expected to be released in December this year.