Experts look at the power of data in Riviera’s How data reporting is transforming ship recycling webinar, sponsored by cash buyer GMS in association with the Sustainable Shipping Initiative
Sustainable Shipping Initiative/Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SSI) executive director Andrew Stephens, Global Marketing Systems (GMS) DMCC Dubai head, research & development, lead co-ordinator responsible ship recycling Dr Anand M Hiremath and Green Ship Services (GSR) chief executive officer Henning Gramann tackled the issue of data and the longer-term impact on stakeholders in the recycling industry.
Investors, regulators and social media are looking closely at ship recycling. Investors require that environmental, social and governance (ESG) protocols have been met and adhered to, while the forthcoming Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) comes into force under EU regulation on 31 December 2020, placing greater emphasis on knowing the fabric, at all stages of the lifecycle, of vessels under EU-flag or calling at EU ports.
Representing the recycling yards on the panel was Dr Hiremath, who outlined the current situation in the ship recycling community.
As well as the physical improvements in the recycling yards in the Indian sub-continent, where a significant number of yards (86 out of 153 registered yards) are now Hong Kong Convention-compliant, cash buyer GMS has been central in introducing a thorough data collection process. The aim is to ensure the stakeholders involved can show that responsible and safe ship recycling has taken place.
GMS has been integrally involved with educating the recycling yards in the importance of collecting data and can act on behalf of third parties to ensure collection and storage of the data.
As Dr Hiremath said, “281 data points are collected in the 18-step recycling monitoring process. This data might be required by a shipowner in the future if it is challenged regarding the recycling of a ship two or three years before.”
Mr Stephens represented the stakeholders on the shipowning and operational side who are striving to create a level playing field. SSI is a volunteer organisation of leading shipping brands and stakeholders who are “leading the way towards responsible and safe ship recycling," he said.
“Transparency is the key. This is a collaborative environment where stakeholders can learn from each other,” said Mr Stephens. SSI was founded in 2018 and now has 26 signatories of which 11 are disclosing shipowners.
He noted that though finance is a driver for change, the industry is moving from “do no harm” to “do more good”. “What we need to do is not only collect the data, we need to make sure that the data is being used," he said.
Data is required to enable a safer and more responsible end of life recycling process.
“It is not just the last owner’s responsibility, it goes back to the design and build and making sure that the ownership of data passes between the several shipowners through a vessel’s life, which can be 25 to 30 years. Traceability throughout the lifecycle of a ship is key,” said Mr Stephens.
The data collection for the recycling process starts with the Inventory of Hazardous Materials, which comes into force on 31 December 2020. IHM is a live document that must show all the hazardous materials and substances on the vessel from launch to recycling.
GSR is a Hamburg-based company with experience of implementing the Hong Kong Convention and the EU SRR ship recycling protocols with a global network of agents involved in IHM compliance. As Mr Gramann noted, the company provides “material compliance from cradle to grave”.
“[IHM] plays an important role for the ship operations which many people underestimate, because the onboard crew also needs to know where the hazardous materials are and what it means for the daily life of the ship,” said Mr Gramann. “The big problem is if there is no data or false data, people are relying on that and that creates huge risk.”
In a poll during the webinar, 100% agreed that IHM is a useful tool for improving recycling practices. But how many are prepared? Some 71% of respondents reported readiness for IHM. However, in another poll, the breakdown of readiness of the IHM process for EU-visiting vessels or EU-flagged vessels was less assured.
Only 19% had completed the process, 15% had contracted for the work and 25% reported progress was underway. A significant number (41%) had not started the IHM process. While the coronavirus pandemic may be impacting readiness, Mr Gramann noted GSR has a global network of inspectors available.
As to the question should the IHM deadline be postponed, the majority (63%) or respondents replied that it should.
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Panellists (left to right): Sustainable Shipping Initiative/Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SSI), executive director Andrew Stephens; Global Marketing Systems (GMS) DMCC DUBAI head, research & development, lead coordinator responsible ship recycling Dr. Anand M. Hiremath; GSR Services chief executive officer, Henning Gramann