Stakeholders that are pioneering a new future for sustainable ship recycling gathered in Rotterdam at the NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s Ship Recycling Lab: Transformation through Innovation. New technologies, ethical circular economy models, strategic policies for the steel industry, and many more topics linked to ship demolition, ship design, waste management and material recovery were discussed during the two-day event.
The current industrial and political shift to a circular and low-carbon economy has brought ship recycling to a turning point. Participants at the Lab showcased how they are seizing new opportunities for innovation created by the momentum for green and regenerative design, production and end-of-life management.
Circular Maritime Technologies International BV (CMT) chose the Lab to share its new cutting technology, which is transferable to any facility and reduces the vessel's size in several automated steps.
Founders of Leviathan GmbH, Simeon Hiertz and Karsten Schumacher, announced at the Lab their cooperation with German Naval Yards on facilitating clean and safe ship recycling in Kiel. The technology developed by Leviathan, which includes the use of robots and cold water cutting techniques, will be available to owners of large vessels in a dry dock of 426x88m.
Head of Climate Change and Governmental Affairs at ArcelorMittal Europe, Stephane Tondo, also speaking at the Lab, stated that the green transition will require the decarbonisation of steel production. According to EuRIC, using one tonne of sustainably produced scrap saves at least 1.67 tonnes of CO2. Increasing the share of scrap in steel production and ensuring proximity to raw materials are key strategies to ensure decarbonisation, said ArcelorMittal. The latter revealed its cooperation with CMT for the possible development of a new ship recycling facility in Gent, Belgium, close to its steel plant. Noting that the European Union (EU) will soon become a net importer of scrap, ArcelorMittal is now looking for additional partnerships with recyclers close to its other steel plants in the EU in order to ensure access to good quality scrap steel from vessels.
For those who want to learn about the new developments that will shape the future of the industry and the forward-thinkers that spoke at the Lab, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform has published the new magazine Breaking Out: Anchoring Circular Innovation for Ship Recycling. This first edition of Breaking Out cuts across sectors with an eye on the latest technologies and policies aimed at reinventing ship recycling for the twenty-first century.