Alang Ship Recyclers Make Renewed Push for Green Standards

Plot No. 25 at Alang (Image courtesy Bansal Shipbreakers)

Published Feb 6, 2022 8:23 PM by Arjun Banerjee

Alang is seeing a renewed push to develop ship recycling standards above the requirements of regulators and classification societies.This development stems from shipowners' own requirements for recycling of their vessels.

These shipowners require ClassNK HKC certification as the basic standard and are looking to audit or pre-evaluate existing ship recycling yards. Some owners list out their own responsible ship recycling standards, and they are looking for yards that have gone beyond the requirements of the classification society and perform LTI-free operations.
Some of the standards required for the ship recycling facility beyond regulatory requirements include:

1.       Complete impermeable floor 
2.       Stormwater collection system for complete containment of any seepage to the sea
3.       Large heavy-lift cranes for better control over the dismantling of large units
4.       Environmentally sound downstream waste management and auditing of subcontractors. 

All the above require financial investments for ship recyclers to implement. One recycling yard that is making this investment is Bansal Shipbreakers at Plot No. 25 and 39. 

"As of today, the text adopted in the Hong Kong Convention is interpreted in different ways by different shipowners.  For example, some may interpret the impermeable floor as the cutting zone concreted, and others may say that the entire facility is to be made impermeable by the use of concretization," says Mr. Rubal Bansal, the company's director. "It is in our best interest to go for the higher benchmark of green recycling even when it may require substantial financial investments in terms of construction of the facility or procurement of equipment (large heavy lift cranes). We always go for the higher regulation/requirement."

ClassNK issued Bansal a certificate of HKC compliance in 2018, and now they are on their way to getting certification from Lloyd's Register for compliance with the HKC and the standards of the EU SRR. The Bansal yard has also been audited by leading shipowners as part of their pre-evaluation for the recycling of vessels. 

Alang’s push for green ship recycling has been relatively subdued since the Basel Ban Amendment took effect in 2019, but the effort is now being renewed. The impetus comes directly from the shipowners themselves, and it is set to translat into safe and environmentally sound ship recycling.

Arjun Banerjee is an environmental compliance consultant and hazmat manager, and he has worked with cash buyers and ship recyclers for the past seven years. He holds a post-graduate degree in environment and sustainable development, a degree in civil engineering, and is a lead auditor for ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 certified by Lloyds Register. 

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.