Main Locations: Europe, America, South-East Asia

Recycling methods: different variants of quay-side demolition/slip ways, dry docks and other



Outside the five main ship recycling countries - India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Turkey – there  are also recycling facilities in Europe, North America and other Asian countries. Only 3% of the gross tonnage scrapped globally every year currently reaches these sites.





In Europe, there are several state-of-the-art facilities that are either exclusively or partially involved with ship recycling. Facilities specialised in the dismantling of ships and offshore structures are found in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. The peer-side recycling method is widely used by European yards, accompanied by slipways for the recycling of the hull in a contained area. Some yards are equipped with dry-docks. The majority of facilities in Europe recycle small and medium-sized vessels, and in particular navy ships. Several European yards also have the capacity to recycle large commercial vessels as outlined in a report published by the Platform and member organisation T&E. As of November 2018, 23 yards with a total capacity of around 1.4 million LDT have been included in the EU List of approved ship recycling facilities.  

Ship recycling in Rotterdam, The Netherlands - © DAMEN
Ship recycling in Genoa, Italy - © Merlo Fotografia
Ship recycling in Ghent, Belgium - © European Union 2019
European Commissioner Vella visiting Galoo ship recycling yard in Belgium - © European Union 2019



In North America and the Caribbean, there are several recycling yards located in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. There are also facilities in Ecuador and Curaçao, however these remain for the time being inactive. In the US, ship recycling yards have primarily focused on the domestic inventory of obsolete navy vessels, but the current United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) and navy inventory will likely be disposed of soon. This opens up significant capacity for foreign flagged ships seeking environmentally sound and safe recycling. The yards are located on all three coastlines of the U.S., with facilities in Brownsville, Texas, being the most active. Ship dismantling operations in the U.S. are either conducted in graving dry-docks or alongside with slipways. One U.S. yard has made it on the EU List. In Canada, the industry currently predominantly dismantles government-owned vessels as well as smaller vessels in the Great Lakes area. Most of these yards have un-utilised capacity which could be used to also recycled the international commercial fleet. In Mexico, only in recent years has the industry been revived with the development of yards capable of dismantling medium or large sea-going vessels on both the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Coast. The environmental standards, including downstream hazardous waste management, should however be scrutinized by any ship owner seeking to cooperate with one of these yards, such as Dutch ship owner Boskalis when they partnered with a Mexican yard in 2013.





Smaller vessels are known to be broken in Indonesia. Recent media investigations revealed appalling social and environmental conditions at a breaking yard located in Cilincing, North Jakarta.

Shipbreaking in Cilincing, Jakarta - © Yudha Baskoro 2018

T&E / NGO Shipbreaking Platform - Capacity Report EU List

Industrial capabilities of North America

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