India Aims to Double its Shipbreaking Capacity by 2024

Shipbreaking facilities at Alang, India (NASA / Aqua MODIS)

Published Feb 8, 2021 7:49 PM by Ankur Kundu

When the Indian Finance Ministry unveiled its budget for FY 2021, it revealed that the country's shipping sector will receive a much-needed boost. However, the grand winner was the ship recycling sector.

Last week, India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the country's ship recycling capacity will be doubled by 2024. She also laid stress on the increasing efforts being made by the Indian government to woo in more ships from Japan and EU countries. This act could create 150,000 jobs in various shipyards across the country.

"Efforts will be made to bring more ships to India from Europe aa and Japan. The recycling capacity of around 4.5 million light displacement tonnes (LDT) will be doubled by 2024. This is expected to generate an additional 1.5 lakh (150,000) jobs for our youth,” said Sitharaman.

Like many other South Asian countries, India aims to establish a leading position in the shipbreaking and recycling industry. To pursue this goal, India enacted the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019. Additionally, for attracting foreign ships, dozens of Indian shipbreaking yards have acceded to the Hong Kong Convention on Ship Recycling (HKC). After the convention  was implemented, around 90 ship recycling yards across the Indian shipyard of Alang achieved HKC-compliant certificates.

India's Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya recently announced India's ambitious plan to grab 50 percent of the global ship recycling business. Its current share stands around 30 percent at present. Right now, India recycles around seven million GT worth of ships per year, followed by Bangladesh, which recycles 6.8 million GT. Pakistan comes next with 3.7 million GT, followed by China, with 3.4 million GT.

Mandaviya said, "These four countries account for 90 percent of the ships recycled globally. Post enactment of the Recycle Act, India eyes 50 percent of the global share as many countries will be sending ships here after India ratified the [HKC]."

Mandaviya hopes that Alang, located in the West Indian State of Gujarat and also the world's largest shipbreaking hub, will spearhead India's success in this domain.