Press Release – Turning point: new tech and developments for a new future of ship recycling presented at the Lab

Published in October 04th, 2022

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. 

"We aimed at boosting engagement for a new standard at the Ship Recycling Lab. Companies that can safely dismantle large assets ‘off the beach’ and use technologies ranging from automation and robotics to the age-old, tried and true use of dry docks came in numbers. Coupled with the growing market for sustainably produced scrap steel, it has become clear that the business case for truly responsible ship recycling is rising."
Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director & Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform


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.

"Now our vision of automated, people- and environmentally-friendly ship recycling is becoming a reality. At the same time, we are securing important steel as a raw material for European steel production, assisting European steelmakers to reduce their carbon footprint."
Simeon Hiertz - Founder - Leviathan GmbH


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. 


"There are many reasons to be optimistic and to bet on the innovators that spoke at the Lab. They are convinced that responsible ship recycling can compete, especially given that integrated circular economy hubs, where building, maintenance, repair and material recovery take place side by side, are in view."
Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director & Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform

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.

"Green investors will find lots of inspiring projects in Breaking Out. We also encourage ship owners that unfortunately did not make it to the Lab in great numbers to read the magazine. It is a solutions-oriented publication providing insights on what responsible recycling means via in-depth articles, interviews and spotlight profiles. It showcases very concrete new destinations for their end-of-life assets."
Ingvild Jenssen - Executive Director & Founder - NGO Shipbreaking Platform