Marine Log

February 17, 2006

Bangladesh bans S.S. Norway

Another government has yielded to environmentalist pressures against the international scrapping of aged vessels.

Bangladesh's Environment Minister, Tariqul Islam, said yesterday that his government had decided to ban the S.S. Norway from its waters.

He said that the Central Bank and Customs had been told not to issue import documentation and that the navy and coast guard had been ordered to prevent the ship entering Bangladeshi waters.

The announcement came one day after the decision by French President Jacques Chirac to order the decommissioned aircraft carrier Clemenceau to be returned to French waters.

The Bangladesh DAILY STAR reports Bangladeshi scrap merchant Lokman Hossain as saying he had bought the Norway for over $12 million, but had still to make the payment. "Everything is settled, but I could not pay the amount due to the dollar crisis in the local market," said Lokman.

Reporters questioning the environment minister asked whether the ship had been renamed as Blue Lady. The minister said it would remained banned from local waters under any name.