Navigating the recycling challenges of ship owners.

Ship recycling is a complex and hazardous process as ships contain a wide range of hazardous materials and have intricate structures that include numerous compartments, systems, and components; also, ship recycling can have significant environmental repercussions if dangerous items are not removed and disposed of correctly.

The ship recycling industry is subject to a complex web of international regulations, which includes the Basel Convention, that governs the transboundary movement and disposal of hazardous waste. Also, the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships which mandates that ships undergoing recycling do not pose any unwarranted risk to human health, safety, or the environment, and  European Union Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR) that sets out a number of additional requirements that go beyond those set in the Hong Kong Convention. There exist NGOs as well for recycling who fight against beaching of ships in subcontinents as well as for the well being of workers. Complying with these established standards and regulations can be an enormous challenge for ship owners who are unaware of these regulations, especially in regions where regulation implementation is lacking.

Picture Source: Priya Blue Industries Pvt. Ltd.

In many cases, ship owners and insurance companies exhibit apprehension toward these intricate regulations, especially upon encountering vessel-related troubles. Owing to their limited knowledge or unfamiliarity with the subject matter, and fears against these regulations and NGOs, shipowners often resort to giving their vessels to recycling yards that might not have the appropriate expertise and facilities for safe and sustainable recycling, without undertaking a comprehensive and meticulous evaluation of the recycling facility. The absence of requisite infrastructure and inadequate training of workers in a facility can be a cause for concern, especially when it results in non-compliance with regulations governing the safe and sustainable recycling of ships.

An instance can be cited where a vessel caught fire and subsequently, it was sold to a recycling yard in Korea for the purpose of recycling. However, due to the lack of adequate infrastructure and trained workforce at the yard, the same vessel was resold and ended up at a non-compliant yard in Bangladesh . This could have been prevented if the owner had initially sold the vessel to a proper green ship recycling facility, and the seller would have received a much better financial bargain as well.

Another case of incident that occurred recently involves a Car Carrier Ship that had previously experienced a fire and was subsequently grounded during a typhoon. The vessel once again caught fire due to the negligence of workers who were engaged in metal-cutting activities. The ignition occurred when an acetylene torch was accidentally dropped and came into contact with some paint, resulting in the outbreak of a blaze. This occurrence can be attributed to above mentioned reasons and circumstances.

Systematic Modern-Day Recycling At Priya Blue, Picture Source: Priya Blue Industries Pvt. Ltd.

We could contribute towards ensuring that vessels are recycled properly by supporting facilities with the ability and power to do so. Companies like Best Oasis are available to help and assist ship owners and ensure that they comply with all necessary regulations while providing the financial advantage to shipowners. They can also assist in making sure that vessels are sent to responsible recycling facilities that have the appropriate infrastructure, are compliant with international regulations, practice responsible ship recycling, and have a team of competent workers who are trained and experienced, such as Priya Blue in India.

India has established ship recycling yards like Priya Blue that are equipped with the required infrastructure and expertise to manage large vessels, with heavy machinery, cutting-edge technologies, and appropriate facilities for the safe handling of hazardous materials. Over time, Indian ship recyclers have acquired expertise in the safe and efficient dismantling of vessels. They have made noteworthy progress in enhancing their processes and adhering to international standards. Although the ship recycling sector in India has received environmental criticism in the past, significant advances have been made to resolve these problems.

"India, a wise choice for vessel recycling, Where old ships find new beginnings, A land where sustainability is key, And the environment is given wings."