Press Release – Platform publishes list of ships dismantled worldwide in 2019

Most shipping companies continue to opt for the highest price at the worst scrapping yards

 

According to new data released today by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, 674 ocean-going commercial ships and offshore units were sold to the scrap yards in 2019. Of these vessels, 469 large tankers, bulkers, floating platforms, cargo- and passenger ships were broken down on only three beaches in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, amounting to near 90% of the gross tonnage dismantled globally.

 

"Bangladesh remains the favoured dumping ground for end-of-life ships laden with toxics. There is wide-spread knowledge of the irreparable damage caused by dirty and dangerous practices on tidal mudflats, yet profit is the only decisive factor for most ship owners when selling their vessels for breaking."
Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director and Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Last year, at least 26 workers lost their lives when breaking apart the global fleet. The Platform documented accidents that killed 24 workers on the beach of Chattogram (formerly known as Chittagong), making 2019 the worst year for Bangladeshi yards in terms of fatalities since 2010. At least another 34 workers were severely injured. Whilst the total death toll in Indian yards is unknown, local sources and media confirmed at least two deaths at shipbreaking yards that claim to be operating safely, but have failed to be included in the EU list of approved ship recycling facilities [1].

 


DUMPERS 2019 – Worst practices

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES and GREECE top the list of country dumpers in 2019. UAE owners were responsible for the highest absolute number of ships sold to South Asian shipbreaking yards in 2019: 45 ships in total. Greek owners closely followed with 40 beached vessels.

 

The ‘worst corporate dumper’ prize goes to the Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen. In the last years, the company has been under the spotlight for its damaging shipbreaking practices. In January 2018, the Norwegian Central Bank announced its decision to divest from Evergreen due to the ship owner’s repeated sale of vessels for dirty and dangerous breaking on the beach of Chattogram. Since then, the company has clearly not changed its policy. Eleven of Evergreen’s vessels ended up in South Asia in 2019. On 23 July, cutter man Shahidul lost his life while working at Kabir Steel’s Khawja shipbreaking yard in Bangladesh. Shahidul was dismantling Evergreen’s EVER UNION when he fell from a great height. He died on the spot.

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Dry bulk shipping company Berge Bulk is runner-up for worst corporate practice. Four ships owned by the Bermuda-based ship owner ended up in Bangladesh for dirty and dangerous breaking. Berge Bulk’s scrapping practices should prompt the Lloyd’s List Asia Awards to withdraw the prize for “Excellence in Environmental Management” the company recently received for its commitment to environmental conservation. Indeed, there is nothing laudable about putting workers lives at serious risk and polluting sensitive coastal environments.

 

Danish container shipping giant Maersk scrapped four vessels on the Indian beaches last year. The company did not hesitate to leave the Danish shipping registry in order to circumvent the new EU laws requiring the use of EU-approved recycling facilities, and at least two of the ships even left EU waters in breach of an international and European ban on the export of hazardous waste to developing countries. In November, Bangladesh Courts condemned the illegal breaking of Maersk’s FPSO North Sea Producer which had been sold to cash buyer GMS and fraudulently exported from the UK in 2016. Criminal investigations are underway in the UK.

 

Other well-known shipping companies that in 2019 dumped their toxic ships on South Asian beaches include: Costamare, CMA CGM, Diamond Offshore, ENSCO, MOL, MSC, NYK Line, Tidewater and Vale.


In India, many yards now boast having upgraded their beaching facilities to comply with the requirements set by the International Maritime Organisation’s Hong Kong Convention. Recent inspection visits by the European Commission in Alang and media reports, however, flag serious concerns related to pollution of the intertidal area; absence of medical facilities; breaches of labour rights and lack of capacity to safely manage a number of hazardous waste streams, including mercury and radioactive contaminated materials that are typically found on offshore oil & gas units. No facility located in South Asia meets the safety and environmental requirements for EU approval.

 

All ships sold to Chattogram, Alang and Gadani pass via the hands of scrap-dealers, better known as cash buyers. These pay the highest price for end-of-life vessels and are inherently linked to the beaching yards. Cash buyers typically re-name, re-register and re-flag the vessels on their last voyage. Black-listed flags, such as Palau, Comoros and St Kitts & Nevis, were particularly popular in 2019: almost half of the ships sold to South Asia changed flag to one of these registries just weeks before hitting the beach. None were beached under an EU flag, despite many vessels having been sold by a European shipping company.

"Policy makers need to adopt effective measures to divert ships towards the sites that have been approved by the EU. The fact that old ships are registered under flags known for the poor implementation of international maritime law sheds serious doubt over the effectiveness of legislation based on flag state jurisdiction only, including the EU Ship Recycling Regulation."
Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director and Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Today banks, pension funds and other financial institutions are actively taking a closer look at how they might contribute to a shift towards better ship recycling practices off the beach, taking into account social and environmental criteria, not just financial returns, when selecting asset values or clients [2]. Police and environmental authorities are also increasingly monitoring the movements of end-of-life vessels. Following the Seatrade judgement in the Netherlands where, for the first time, a ship owner was held criminally liable for having intended to sell four end-of-life ships to Indian beaching yards, several other cases of illegal traffic are under investigation. [3] Aiding and abiding environmental crime is equally punishable: insurers, brokers and maritime warranty surveyors could therefore also be held liable. By unravelling the murky practices of shipbreaking, these cases highlight the importance of conducting due diligence when choosing business partners.

"Clean and safe solutions are already available. We applaud companies, such as Dutch Van Oord, that have had a responsible ship recycling policy ‘off the beach’ for many years. Whilst other ship owners lament over the lack of capacity to recycle sustainably, only 31 vessels were recorded recycled in EU-approved facilities, which represent a minor fraction of what these yards are able to handle."
Nicola Mulinaris - Communication and Policy Officer - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

For the data visualization of 2019 shipbreaking records, click here. *

For the full Excel dataset of all ships dismantled worldwide in 2019, click here. *

 

* The data gathered by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform is sourced from different outlets and stakeholders, and is cross-checked whenever possible. The data upon which this information is based is correct to the best of the Platform’s knowledge, and the Platform takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. The Platform will correct or complete data if any inaccuracy is signaled. All data which has been provided is publicly available and does not reveal any confidential business information.

 

NOTES

 

[1] The EU Ship Recycling Regulation became applicable on 1 January 2019. According to the Regulation, EU-flagged vessels have to be recycled in one of the currently 41 approved facilities around the world included in the EU list. EU-approved ship recycling facilities must comply with high standards for environmental protection and workers’ safety. The EU list is the first of its kind; is the only list of facilities that have been independently audited; and provides an important reference point for sustainable ship recycling. Any ship owner that wants to opt for safe and clean ship recycling can simply choose one of the 41 facilities that are now included on the List.

 

[2] In early 2018, Scandinavian pension funds KLP and GPFG were the first to divest from four shipping companies, including containership company Evergreen, due to their beaching practices.

 

[3] In Scotland, Diamond Offshore and cash buyer GMS are still under investigation for having attempted to illegally export three heavily contaminated platforms that had operated in the North Sea and were cold-stacked in Cromarty Firth. The platforms have been detained in Scotland since January 2018.

 

Press Release – NGOs release new report on North Sea oil and gas recycling

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform released today a research report titled “Recycling Outlook: Decommissioning of North Sea Floating Oil & Gas Units” during a seminar held in Oslo, Norway.

 

With the oil and gas sector seeing a downturn since 2014, the Platform has documented an increasing number of offshore units sold for scrap. While the recycling of fixed installations occurs under strict regulations, there are serious concerns regarding the recycling of floating structures, which classify as vessels. Around 200 floating structures have been identified as scrapped globally since 2015 – an estimated 40% of these assets ended up on South Asian beaches, where they were broken up under conditions that cause irreparable damage to the coastal environment and put workers’ lives and health at risk.

 

Numerous  floating platforms and oil and gas structures can be found in the North Sea, where the global oversupply in the rig-market is pushing the oldest assets to be scrapped. There are currently 59 floating mobile drilling rigs in the North Sea, 18 of which were built before 2001. Whilst some of the older units might be converted/upgraded, it is estimated that most of them will be scrapped in the coming years. So far, the only structure which operated in the North Sea and has been traced to a South Asian beaching yard is the FPSO North Sea Producer. There is a real risk, however, that we will see more of these cases coming up in the near future with more decommissioning projects in the North Sea.

 

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform advocates for the use of green recycling capacity already existing in the region. Indeed, North Sea recycling yards have years of experience decommissioning fixed oil and gas structures. There are several dry docks and contained slipway facilities where the dismantling of  floating structures can take place safely and with due regard for labour and environmental concerns. Ehancing the recycling of offshore structures and ships in Europe would furthermore bring opportunities for the many workers that were laid off  after the recession in the oil and gas sector in 2014.

 

The report was published with the support of Norwegian pension fund KLP. KLP promotes, as an essential part of its responsibility, practices of corporate responsibility and responsible investment. As a large investor in Norwegian companies, and companies based outside of Norway operating in the North Sea, it strives to ensure the responsible recycling of ships and offshore assets, aiming at contributing to a shift towards better practices in the sector.

Photos from KLP's seminar "Responsible disposal of ships and rigs" - © Cato Gustavson/KLP

Press Release – Platform publishes list of ships dismantled worldwide in 2018

Record-breaking 90% of end-of-life tonnage scrapped on South Asian beaches

 

According to new data released today by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, 744 large ocean-going commercial vessels were sold to the scrap yards in 2018. Of these vessels, 518 were broken down on tidal mudflats in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, amounting to a record-breaking 90,4% of the gross tonnage dismantled globally. 

"The figures of 2018 are shocking. No ship owner can claim to be unaware of the dire conditions at the beaching yards, still they massively continue to sell their vessels to the worst yards to get the highest price for their ships. The harm caused by beaching is real. Workers risk their lives, suffer from exposure to toxics, and coastal ecosystems are devastated. Ship owners have a responsibility to sell to recycling yards that invest in their workers and environment."
Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director and Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Last year, at least 35 workers lost their lives when breaking apart the global fleet. The Platform documented at least 14 workers that died in Alang, making 2018 one of one of the worse years for Indian yards in terms of accident records in the last decade. Another 20 workers died and 12 workers were severely injured in the Bangladeshi yards. In Pakistan, local sources confirmed 1 death and 27 injuries. Seven injuries were linked to yet another fire that broke out on-board a beached tanker. 

 


DUMPERS 2018 – Worst practices

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, GREECE and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA top the list of country dumpers in 2018. UAE owners were responsible for the highest absolute number of ships sold to South Asian shipbreaking yards in 2018: there were 61 ships in total. Greek owners, beached 57 vessels out of a total of 66 sold for demolition. American owners closely followed with 53 end-of-life vessels broken up on South Asian tidal mudflats. 

 

The ‘worst corporate dumper’ prize goes to the South Korean liner Sinokor Merchant Marine. The company, which has been loss-making and is about to merge its container operations with Heung-A, sold 11 ships for breaking on the beaches in 2018: eight vessels ended up in Bangladesh and three in India, where in April, during the demolition of Sinokor’s PLATA GLORY at Leela Ship Recycling Yard [1], a worker died hit by a falling iron plate. 

 

Norwegian Nordic American Tankers (NAT) - incorporated in Bermuda and stock-listed in New York - is runner-up for the ‘worst dumper’ prize. Last year, NAT reported having earned USD 80 million for the sale of eight vessels for breaking. Three were sold to Alang for breaking and five were sold to breakers in Chittagong. According to local sources in Bangladesh, the cutting operations of these ships started without required government authorisations. The sale of two additional vessels to yards in Bangladesh with particularly poor track records and where two workers were killed in 2018, prompted Norwegian pension fund KLP to blacklist the company. 

 

Seven vessels were sold to beaching yards for dirty and dangerous scrapping by German owner Dr Peters GmbH & Co KG. According to local sources, fitter Md Samiul lost his life while scrapping Dr Peters’ DS WARRIOR in December 2018.

 

Other known shipping companies that in 2018 sold their vessels for the highest price to the worst breaking yards include: Chevron, Costamare, H-Line, Louis plc, Seabulk, SOVCOMFLOT, Teekay, Zodiac Group and CMB. Belgian CMB is still under investigation for the export of the MINERAL WATER to Bangladesh in 2016.


With the oil and gas sector seeing a downturn in the last couple of years, the Platform has documented an increase in offshore units that have gone for scrap. Out of the 138 oil and gas units which have been identified as demolished in 2018 alone, 96 ended up on the beaches of South Asia. Figures include 81 small-sized tug/supply ships and 33 semi-submersible platforms. Noble Corp, ENSCO, Tidewater, Diamond Offshore and Petrobras are amongst the biggest offshore players that dump their assets on the South Asian beaches. While most assets were exported from either East Asia or America, Diamond Offshore and cash buyer GMS are under investigation in Scotland for having attempted to illegally export three platforms that had operated in the North Sea and were cold-stacked in Cromarty Firth. The platforms have been under arrest in Scotland since January 2018.

 

Ship owners are facing increased pressure from investors and credit providers to stop selling their ships to beaching yards. In early 2018, Scandinavian pension funds KLP and GPFG were the first to divest from four shipping companies due to their beaching practices. Today, banks, pension funds and other financial institutions are actively taking a closer look at how they might contribute to a shift towards better ship recycling practices off the beach, taking into account social and environmental criteria, not just financial returns, when selecting asset values or clients.

 

Losing financing and clients, however, should not be the only concern of ship owners who continue to use dirty and dangerous scrap yards. In 2018, and for the first time ever, a ship owner was held criminally liable for having illegally traded four end-of-life ships to Indian beaching yards. Several other cases of illegal traffic are under investigation. These cases focus not only on the liability of the ship owner, but also on the responsibility of insurers, brokers and maritime warranty surveyors. By unravelling the murky practices of shipbreaking, which involve the use of middle men, or cash buyers, and flags of convenience such as Comoros, Palau and St. Kitts & Nevis, these cases highlight the importance of conducting due diligence when choosing business partners.

"Clean and safe solutions are already available. Responsible ship owners, such as Dutch Boskalis, German Hapag Lloyd, and Scandinavian companies Wallenius-Wilhelmsen and Grieg, recycle their vessels off the beach. The EU maintains a list of clean and safe ship recycling facilities [2]. More ships need to be diverted towards these sites."
Nicola Mulinaris - Communication and Policy Officer - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

For the list of all ships dismantled worldwide in 2018, click here. *

For detailed figures and analysis on ships dismantled in 2018, click here.*

 

* The data gathered by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform is sourced from different outlets and stakeholders, and is cross-checked whenever possible. The data upon which this information is based is correct to the best of the Platform’s knowledge, and the Platform takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. The Platform will correct or complete data if any inaccuracy is signaled. All data which has been provided is publicly available and does not reveal any confidential business information.

 

 

NOTES

 

[1] The Plata Glory was beached in December 2017 at Leela Ship Recycling yard. Leela holds a so-called Statement of Compliance with the Hong Kong Convention issued by ClassNK and claims to be offering “green recycling”.   

 

[2] The EU has published a list of ship recycling facilities around the world that comply with high standards for environmental protection and workers’ safety. The EU list of approved ship recycling facilities is the first of its kind and an important reference point for sustainable ship recycling. 

 

Press Release – Europe has capacity to recycle its ships, new data shows – yet shipowners want to use dangerous, polluting yards abroad

Ship recycling yards approved by the EU will have enough capacity to handle demand from EU-flagged ships that need to be scrapped, a new analysis shows. The shipping industry wants low-cost ship ‘breaking’ yards outside the EU – with dangerous working conditions and poor environmental standards – to be added to the EU list of approved facilities in order to meet demand from vessels bound by the bloc’s ship recycling law, which enters force on 1 January 2019. But the current EU list can accommodate the numbers and sizes of EU-flagged ships that are scrapped every year, the new report by NGOs Shipbreaking Platform and Transport & Environment (T&E) shows.

 

Damen Verolme Rotterdam ship recycling yard – © DAMEN / Offshore Ship Recycling Rotterdam – OSRR

The 20 EU yards currently recognised as meeting ship-recycling standards have had the capacity to handle all EU ships broken since 2015, the report shows. Shipbreaking Platform and T&E said lawmakers should not succumb to pressure to either delay the implementation of the regulation or add sub-standard shipbreaking facilities – which would never be allowed to operate in EU countries – to the EU list.

 

Yards that use the beaching method are of particular concern. Vessels are full of hazardous materials, including asbestos, chlorine compounds, heavy metals and residue oils. On a tidal mudflat it is not possible to contain these toxics – instead they are washed out to the sea, and ravage coastal ecosystems. Without proper protective equipment, workers are also sickened and exposed to unnecessary risk. Accidents at the beaching yards kill or maim young men each year due to unsafe practices. [1]

 

"The shipowners’ capacity claims are a clear red herring. Alternatives to beaching end-of-life ships exist. It boils down to not accepting the low occupational safety and environmental protection standards that allow many unapproved yards to operate cheaply."
Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director and Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Shipowners misleadingly cite the EU yards’ historical capacity to claim that they are over-capacity. However, this does not take into account the EU facilities operating under capacity due to being undercut by sub-standard competition overseas. It also ignores the capacity of newly-opened yards which are just starting to operate.

 

"The business of breaking EU ships is an opportunity to boost circular economy and create green jobs in Europe. EU-listed yards have the capacity to break all EU-flagged ships and more. There is no excuse for sending ships to dangerous and polluting yards on beaches overseas."
Lucy Gilliam- Shipping Officer - T&E

The European Commission, national experts and stakeholders meet on 3 October to discuss the implementation of the regulation.

 

Press Release – European commission reports on feasibility of a financial instrument

NGOs urge that it is necessary to hold the shipping industry accountable

 

The European Commission released its report on the viability of a financial incentive for sustainable ship recycling under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation this week. Whilst it acknowledges the benefits for clean and safe ship recycling such an incentive would bring, the European Commission has decided to wait with its introduction. NGOs urge the EU to take action now as it is well documented that ship owners will with ease be able to circumvent the EU Ship Recycling Regulation by simply swapping the flag of their vessel to that of a non-EU State [1].

 

The report of the European Commission is based on the study which was conducted by Ecorys, DNV-GL and the University of Rotterdam/Erasmus, and published at the end of 2016. The proposed instrument in the study is in the form of a licence which each ship, regardless of its flag, needs to acquire in order to enter EU ports. This licence can be bought monthly, yearly, or every 5 years, depending on the trading requirements, and will be ship-specific. At the end of the ship’s life, the money spent on buying the licences will have been put aside and can be paid back to the last owner of that ship once it is recycled at a facility which is approved according to the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. Such an incentive will offset the higher profits made when selling to substandard shipbreaking yards and ensure the proper recycling of EU-trading ships regardless of their flags.

 

In the report published on 8 August, the European Commission sees this system of the Ship Recycling Licence as a workable solution if it is demonstrated that there are many ships that will flag out to circumvent the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, thereby weakening its effectiveness. All EU-flagged vessels will have to be recycled in an EU-approved facility starting from the end of 2018 at the latest. Only once it is clear what the effects of the EU List are on the recycling choices of shipowners, will the Commission consider whether to go ahead with introducing the Ship Recycling Licence. Therefore, if shipowners choose to recycle their vessels responsibly in a facility on the EU List and do not flag out in order to circumvent the Ship Recycling Regulation, the Commission believes that it will not be necessary to introduce a financial mechanism.

 

However, flagging out at end-of-life is a practice which is already widespread. Most shipowners sell their obsolete vessels to so-called cash buyers. These scrap-dealers become the new owners of the ships and both re-name and re-flag the vessels for their last voyage to the beaching yards in South Asia. Particularly popular registries amongst the cash buyers are the Paris MoU grey- and black-listed flags of Comoros, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis – flags that are known for their poor implementation of laws governing labour rights and environmental protection at sea. Maersk also already threatened that it would flag out its fleet from the Danish registry if the Alang beaching yards they have recently chosen to use are not approved by the EU. Swapping the flag of a ship is easy and makes it very simple for cash buyers and shipowners to circumvent the law. The motivation for doing so is also simple: dirty and dangerous shipbreaking brings higher profits due to the lack of investments in infrastructure, illicit handling of hazardous wastes and extremely poor working conditions. For these reasons the NGO Shipbreaking Platform urges the EU Commission to not wait for the effects of the EU List, but instead show that it intends to take all measures possible to change the current deplorable shipping practices and commit now to making a legislative proposal to introduce a financial incentive [2].

"The huge benefit of this licence scheme is that it will also apply to non-EU flagged ships, meaning that the scope of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation will be much wider and will truly be a driving force for change in the shipping industry. Those shipowners that are already taking responsibility for their end-of-life fleet should be supportive of the Ship Recycling Licence as it will create a level playing field ensuring that also their competitors pay the price of clean and safe ship recycling."
Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director and Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Legislation based on flag state jurisdiction alone is far too easy to circumvent. That is why more policies aimed at improving the social and environmental performance of shipping is being enforced via port state control. The Ship Recycling Licence is as such in line with international trade law. Taking also into account the widespread acknowledgement that financial incentives are key in ensuring the success of environmental policies, it seems obvious that a return scheme for ships is needed to change the behavior of shipowners that currently earn profits at the detriment of workers’ health and lives and the environment.

 

 

NOTES

 

[1] See NGO Shipbreaking Platform publications: Make the Polluter Pay! Why we need a Ship recycling Licence (2016) and
What a difference a flag makes (2015). See also our previous press release on the subject.

 

[2] The European Economic and Social Committee has strongly urged the European Commission to introduce a financial incentive to ensure the effective implementation of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

 

Platform News – European institutions call on EU to address decommissioning of floating oil and gas structures

 

A joint event between the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and three Green Members of the European Parliament highlighted the paradox between the strict rules under OSPAR for the decommissioning of fixed oil platforms from the North Sea with the rules that govern the recycling of floating platforms and structures. The latter fall under the same rules as commercial ships, and would therefore have to follow the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform and other stakeholders have already highlighted the weakness of the SRR which needs to be coupled with a financial incentive to curb the trend to flag out and circumvent the legislation. A financial incentive would also be an opportunity to steer the market towards proper recycling yards included under the EU list of approved facilities.

 

There are a growing number of unutilised and obsolete floating oil and gas structures which have been operating in the North Sea. These structures are effectively floating industrial plants, which need to be dismantled using the highest standards of precaution, many containing asbestos and residues of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). So far, assets from the North Sea have not ended up on the South Asian beaches with the infamous exception of the FPSO tanker NORTH SEA PRODUCER [1]. Yet the NGO Shipbreaking Platform has observed more structures from other oil fields being towed across the globe to be beached in South Asia for dirty and dangerous scrapping. There is a real concern that we will see more rigs and oil and gas assets ending up there, and cash buyers, such as GMS, and marine service providers, such as Aqualis, have had no shame in their efforts to attract the owners of these structures to sell them to the beaches.

 

On 22 June the EESC hosted a conference attended by the members of the CCMI committee . It was clear from the presentations by the port of Fredrikshaven and the Spanish recycler DDR that there is a real business case for Europe and the regions with a recycling capacity to be promoted through a financial incentive. There are even foreign investments that are being made in Denmark to cater for the increased need to decommission the structures from the oil and gas fields in the North Sea. Trade unions also back the movement in support of a financial incentive which would boost the decommissioning and recycling industry and protect highly qualified jobs in a heavy industry. The widespread sentiment was that public support for a responsible and proper recycling industry which is in compliance with the EU SRR, provides for an opportunity to invest in green jobs, cleaner technology and R&D, all in line with ambitions for a circular economy.

 

On 28 June the second part of the event was hosted by MEPs Margrete AUKEN, Pascal DURAND and Bart STAES. The European Parliament placed the focus on the EU Commission to broaden the interest of ship and rig recycling to other policy areas, such as growth, trade, energy, innovation and employment, to name a few. The only opponents to the idea that a clean industry should be promoted in all these aspects were the ship owners present. Most ship owners still do not see themselves as participants in finding sustainable solutions to cleaning up the recycling of their assets, which ultimately should be their responsibility. On the up side, all other participants and speakers, including the EU Commission, acknowledged the positive effects and the added value in ensuring that floating rigs and ships are recycled in EU-listed facilities.

 

If the EU takes the Juncker plan seriously, it has to grab such a chance for Europe’s industry and provide the necessary legal instruments. Only then can ‘beaching’ come to a halt“, said MEP Margrete Auken [2].

 

NOTES

 

[1] The illegal export of the NORTH SEA PRODUCER from the UK to Bangladesh for scrapping is currently being investigated by the UK environmental authorities DEFRA. Maersk owned the FPSO tanker in joint venture with Brazilian oil and gas company Odebrecht, and sold it to a St Kitts and Nevis post box company established by cash buyer GMS. The FPSO was allowed to leave the UK under the false pretext that it would be further operationally used in Nigeria. Instead it was directly towed to the beach in Bangladesh. There, legal action has now been taken to halt the breaking of the tanker which is laden with hazardous materials, including NORM.

 

[2] See press statement from the EESC.

 

Platform News – SAVE THE DATE: “Black Gold’s Green Legacy” on 22 and 28 June 2017 in Brussels

The European Economic and Social Committee's Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) and The European Parliament (EP) are organizing, with the support of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a two-part event to follow-up and consolidate earlier work on shipbreaking and the recycling society.

 

The event will explore the positive benefits that could accrue to Member States from the increased necessity to recycle the decommissioned floating structures from the oil and gas sector within Europe. This event will determine the response of the key stakeholders, especially the oil and gas industry and the production facility owners, and identify what further action needs to be taken by the EU to ensure that the significant value of the legacy assets contribute to the ongoing industrial base in Europe.

 

The first part of this event will take place at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on 22 June in Brussels. A dedicated debate looking at the obstacles and opportunities will take place at a meeting of the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change.

 

The second part of this joint event will be a conference on 28 June in the European Parliament in Brussels. This will define and explore, in conjunction with the European Commission, the necessary legislative action and support that is necessary.

 

We will take part in these important discussions to make sure the offshore sector’s overcapacity problem is resolved through responsible recycling.

 

Visit also the photo exhibition “With Bare Hands” showing the dire conditions at the shipbreaking beaches in India and Bangladesh, which will take place at the EP on 26-30 June.

* Webstreaming in English will be provided during the hearing. The participation in the event is free.

 

Click here to view the Program.

 

Conference on 22 June, in the EESC - You may register at the following address: ccmi2@eesc.europa.eu.
Conference on 28 June, in the EP - You may register at the following address: hedvigelisabeth.sveistrup@europarl.europa.eu.
* Please note your first and last name, function, organisation and address mail. 

 

 

Press Release – Platform supports banks’ introduction of responsible ship recycling standards

And another worker dies in May at Chittagong yard with an appalling accident record

 

Today, during the first day of NOR-Shipping in Oslo, Dutch banks ABN AMRO, ING Bank and NIBC, together with the Scandinavian DNB, announced that they are all introducing Responsible Ship Recycling Standards (RSRS) for their ship financing. The banks took the opportunity of making this announcement during the biannual industry gathering in order to raise awareness with the intention of including more banks into the initiative. The Norwegian fund, KLP, who in 2016 commissioned a report by the International Law and Policy Institute on shipbreaking, had also already taken a stance to reject beaching practices.

 

A collective move to include ship recycling conditions on loans by leading banks and financial institutions with large shipping portfolios is a positive step to imposing responsible practices on ship owners. When there is pressure for change coming from shipping financers, who understand that they have a direct tangible impact on the shipping industry, ship owners, rather than finding crafty loopholes in the law, will feel the bite if they do not choose to recycle responsibly off the beach.

"We welcome the leading role taken by the banks to ensure a departure from the unnecessarily dirty and dangerous practice of beaching, and expect that investors and clients of shipping that are increasingly pushing for higher standards for ship recycling will join the initiative."
Ingvild Jenssen - Policy Director - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Platform News – NGO Shipbreaking Platform presents Annual Report 2016

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform presents its Annual Report 2016.

 

Last year, at least 52 workers lost their lives on the shipbreaking beaches in South Asia. The worst explosion in the history of shipbreaking struck an oil tanker beached in Gadani, Pakistan, killing 28 workers and injuring more than 60. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform is working to ensure that shipping companies sell their obsolete vessels to safe, clean and just recycling facilities. Thanks, in no small part, to the continued efforts of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and its member organisations, concerned policy makers and industry with a stake in shipping are increasingly echoing this demand. Check the new Annual Report to find out more about global shipbreaking practices and the NGO Shipbreaking Platform's activities in 2016.

 

Support our work to prevent the human rights abuses and environmental injustice provoked when ships are traded to dirty and dangerous breaking yards! Share this publication.

 

Download the Platform’s Annual Report 2015 here, or send us an email to order a hard copy.

 

 

Platform News – EU ship recyclers join voices to promote clean and safe practices

Five European ship recycling yards announced yesterday that they have joined forces to effectively raise awareness of existing best practice and the fact that there is capacity in Europe to properly recycle ships. The newly established European Ship Recyclers Group (ESR), set up under the umbrella of the International Ship Recycling Association (ISRA), aims at reaching out to ship owners that are looking for clean and safe ship recycling. The NGO Shipbreaking Platform can only welcome this step and vows to support their efforts in attracting more business as long as they maintain sustainable practices.

 

The European Union approved 18 ship recycling facilities with a total capacity of 1.1 million LDT under the EU Ship Recycling Regulation in December last year. All 18 facilities are located within the EU and the newly established ESR represents five of these yards - from France (Port of Bordeaux), Belgium (Galloo), Denmark (Smedegaarden), the Netherlands (Scheepssloperij) and Spain (DDR). The European Commission is currently revising 18 additional applications from facilities located outside the EU. To make it on the EU list of approved facilities, yards need to prove that they are able to contain pollutants, ensure safe working conditions and the environmentally sound management of all wastes derived from the recycling activities. Facilities that operate on tidal beaches are not expected to make it on the EU list.

 

Whilst ship recycling facilities in Europe, as in the US and China, currently operate under-capacity because they are unable to compete with the higher prices offered by the beaching yards in South Asia, the EU list comes with a promise of raising the profile of yards that have already invested in infrastructure and technologies to ensure safe and clean practices.

"ESR’s main goals are to unite all European ship recycling yards and let the ship owners know that there is capacity for ship recycling in Europe. Our message is a clear, if we can handle them, let’s keep the EU-flagged ships in Europe. ESR will be in close contact with local and EU governments to make sure substandard and unlicensed recycling practices also within Europe are ended."
Peter Wyntin - Galloo - ESR

Ship owners are regrettably quick in rejecting European recyclers under the false pretext that there is no capacity in Europe. European yards today primarily recycle government-owned and smaller vessels, but questioned by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform in 2013, almost all European yards expressed that a promise of an increased market share of the commercially owned vessels would prompt investments to enlarge their facilities, or use currently dormant locations, to enable the recycling of also the largest ships.

 

To effectively push ship owners towards using EU approved yards, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform is calling for an incentive that will help close the financial gap between dirty and dangerous shipbreaking and proper ship recycling. The shipping industry needs to internalise the environmental and human costs of shipbreaking. The recently proposed Ship Recycling Licence does exactly that [1] and received support from the European Economic and Social Committee that in October adopted an opinion calling for “a financial mechanism to end beaching”.

"Ship owners cannot continue to ignore European recyclers and companies that have the capacity and will to provide solutions that can put an end to the scandalous conditions we are witnessing in South Asia. Only last week two more workers were killed at the shipbreaking yards in Chittagong, Bangladesh – the destination where most end-of-life gross tonnage was scrapped in 2016. [3] Commitment to use EU listed facilities is what we expect from any shipping company that calls itself socially responsible."
Ingvild Jenssen - Policy Director - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

 

NOTES

 

[1] For more details on why a Ship Recycling Licence is needed, click here.

 

[2] See also support for a financial incentive from trade union IndustriAll Europe and SEA Europe, the European Ships and Maritime Equipment Association.

 

[3] German and Greek ship owners topped the list of ship dumpers in 2016 sending respectively 97 and 104 vessels for dirty and dangerous scrapping on South Asian beaches. For more details, click here.