Experts at Riviera’s The end of the EU vessel owner recycling conundrum? webinar, sponsored by Wirana Shipping, dissected the major issues facing EU shipowners with end-of-life vessels
Taking part in the ship recycling in the EU discussion, sponsored by Wirana Shipping, was the company’s vice president - Middle East & green recycling co-ordinator, Hitesh Vyas. He was joined by ADS Insight Scandinavia managing director and ADS Insight Belgium senior adviser Lotten Kronudd; BIMCO deputy secretary general Lars Robert Pedersen; AP Moller–Maersk director regulatory affairs Simon Bergulf; and ISRA director Reinoud Pijpers.
Mr Vyas opened proceedings by examining the EU’s data on ship recycling capacity versus the size of the EU-flagged fleet. Mr Vyas’ assessment of capacity revealed there is a big gap between theoretical capacity (2.19M ldt) and achieved capacity (0.55M ldt).
He concluded his presentation by saying it would require Turkey’s current and projected ship recycling yards, plus those in India and the sub-continent to meet the required ship recycling capacity.
Ms Kronudd updated the participants on the EU ship recycling legislation, which was adopted in 2013 and is due for review in 2023. This includes the deadline for the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) which was to become regulation on 1 January 2021, but was delayed for six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms Kronudd said that in her conversations with the EU, this new deadline of 1 June 2021 will not be extended. She also noted that the 43 EU-listed ship recycling yards have lost three important yards due to Brexit.
Picking up on the number of recycling yards on the EU list, Mr Pedersen presented the results of a report that examined in detail the activity of the yards on the EU list. The conclusion was that of the 40 remaining post-Brexit yards, only 26 yards were active. Of these, nine can handle Panamaxes.
“Which is a fairly small ship,” pointed out Mr Pedersen. The list breaks down even further if the yards no longer advertise ship recycling services or operate mainly in the ship repair sector. He noted there appears to be very low demand for ship recycling in Europe.
BIMCO estimates that between 2014 and 2019 some 211 ships have been recycled, mainly in Denmark and Belgium.
Mr Bergulf detailed in his presentation how Maersk has been recycling its own ships in audited yards in India for nearly a decade. These yards have made huge investments in facilities, such as concrete aprons so that the removed blocks are not in contact with the intertidal zone and are removed by cranes.
The result is that Maersk has had, “Zero hazardous spills in the intertidal zone and zero fatalities or serious injuries,” he said. He pointed out that while it is easy to criticise IMO, in this case, there is a convention (Hong Kong Convention) which is not in force but is being applied.
One NGO that has been critical of the Indian and sub-continent shipbreaking scene in general is ISRA, an organisation promoting responsible ship recycling. Mr Pijpers said “Our members have made huge investments in the field of sound and safe recycling,” and the concern was that “our members have to compete with those who have not made these investments.”
Mr Pijpers noted that the question of capacity is really a question of cost. “if you are not able or willing to pay as a shipowner to use a responsible ship facility, then ship recycling capacity is going to be an issue,” he said.
From left to right: AP Moller–Maersk director regulatory affairs Simon Bergulf; ADS Insight Scandinavia managing director and ADS Insight Belgium senior adviser Lotten Kronudd; BIMCO deputy secretary general Lars Robert Pedersen; ISRA director Reinoud Pijpers and Wirana Shipping’s vice president - Middle East & green recycling co-ordinator, Hitesh Vyas (source: Riviera)
Results of The end of the EU vessel owner recycling conundrum? polls:
There is sufficient capacity within EU-Turkey to handle demand
The EU will approve Indian sub-continent recycling facilities
Inside 2 years: 31%
2-5 years: 29%
5-10 years: 14%
>10 years plus: 13%
The most significant influence on the ship recycling sector’s sustainability agenda is
EU rules (or legislators in general): 32%
The shipping sector: 9%
Ship recycling sector: 21%
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