Cash buyer Wirana Shipping Corporation has welcomed Maersk Line’s recent announcement that it has chosen to initiate engagement with four Hong Kong Convention compliant shipbreaking yards along India’s Alang beaches to recycle ships.
Rakesh Khetan (Billu) of Wirana Shipping Corporation says that this is a positive step in right direction, and the decision will have a long term impact on motivating other yards to work towards Hong Kong Convention compliance as well as overall growth of business at Alang Ship Recycling facilities.
Maersk has acknowledged the efforts and investments undertaken by four yards and has decided to motivate these yards by working with them to achieve safe and environmentally sound ship recycling practices. Maersk’s engagement is not restricted to these four yards but includes other yards intending to seek Hong Kong Convention compliance, improving local waste facilities and hospitals and upgrading housing conditions for migrant workers.
The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of ships, 2009, was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Hong Kong which was attended by delegates from 63 countries. The text of convention was developed over three and a half years with input from IMO member states and relevant non-governmental organizations and in co-operation with the International Labour Organization and the parties to Basel Convention.
Wirana Shipping Corporation has been an ardent proponent of responsible recycling of ships and has its own associate as a Hong Kong Convention compliant yard. Khetan is of the opinion that the moves taken by Maersk will encourage other shipowners to take a more pragmatic view of responsible ship recycling. “Encouragement from shipowners would motivate more yards to strive for Hong Kong Convention compliance and thus help countering one of the reasons for delayed ratification of convention by flag states with large fleets which is lack of enough Hong Kong Convention compliant recycling facilities,” he said.
“Wirana is of the opinion that identification of problems is very important first step, but it is equally important to give a workable solution that will help address the problems over a planned time period without negatively impacting the industry and the number of people it supports – directly and indirectly.”
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.