Maersk sends two ships to Alang for recycling

Written by Nick Blenkey
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MAY 13, 2016 — Two Maersk Line vessels, the Maersk Wyoming and the Maersk Georgia are scheduled to arrive for recycling at the Shree Ram yard in Alang, India, later this month.

The Maersk Group recently announced a long-term commitment to create more responsible recycling options in Alang and Shree Ram is one of the Alang yards in Alam that is certified as meeting the requirements of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.

Maersk says that ship recycling is dominated by practices unchanged for decades. Of 768 ships recycled globally in 2015, 469 –  74% of the total gross tonnage scrapped — were sold to facilities on beaches in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with challenges to workers and the environment.

The Maersk Group’s policy is to only recycle ships responsibly. Until recently, this was only feasible in a limited number of yards in China and Turkey.

“By initiating recycling of vessels in Alang at responsible yards, we ensure further development of financially feasible and responsible recycling options to the benefit of Alang and the shipping industry,” says Annette Stube, Head of Sustainability in the Maersk Group. “This development will take time, but we are determined to work with the yards for the long haul.”

Steady improvements of conditions have been seen in ship recycling yards in Alang in the last couple of years. Following several audits at upgraded facilities in Alang in 2015, the Maersk Group concluded that responsible recycling can be accelerated in the area, if the engagement is made now.

“The Alang plans come at a cost for us, but we will invest money and human resources to ensure we can already now scrap our vessels in compliance with the Hong Kong Convention provisions (HSE) as well as international standards on labor conditions and anti-corruption,” says Ms. Staube. “We will also have staff on-site at Shree Ram. They will be working closely with the yard to further upgrade practices, processes and facilities to ensure that the recycling of our vessels complies with our standards.”

To accelerate the upgrade of more yards in Alang, the Maersk Group is working on building a broader collaboration with other shipowners to increase thw demand for responsible ship recycling and to find sustainable solutions. A first step will be a dialogue with Japanese shipowners in collaboration with the Japanese Ship Owners Association (JSA)

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