Published on January 7th, 2017


Alang’s new-found reputation for safe ship recycling grows as Maersk sends more ships for breaking

Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping firm, will recycle four more end of life container ships at two facilities in Alang, Gujarat that are fully compliant with its Responsible Ship Recycling Standards as ship breakers upgrade their facilities to tap demand for dismantling ships in an environmentally safe manner. The decision is part of a plan to recycle eight panama ships – four each in India and China – owned by the Danish shipping giant. In November, Maersk Line and Maersk Transport & Logistics Sustainability selected five ship recycling facilities in China and India for a tender to recycle eight Panamax vessels. All ship recyclers agreed to the A.P. Moller – Maersk Responsible Ship Recycling Standard (RSRS) as a prerequisite to qualify for the tender. The decision to scrap the eight vessels was in part driven by an ambition to enhance flexibility in the 4-5,999 TEU network, where 60-65% of the total Maersk Line fleet is owned. Deals for the vessels were struck in early December with two ship recyclers in India and one in China. Of the four vessels to be recycled in India, two each will be broken apart at plots run by Shree Ram Group and Y.S. Investments. Shree Ram is currently recycling two Post-Panamax Maersk Line vessels in Plot no.78, whereas the Panamax vessels will be recycled at a different Shree Ram facility located in Plot no. V7. Maersk Line send two ships for recycling to Alang for the first time earlier this year which is widely seen as an endorsement of the improvements that are taking place at the world’s biggest shipbreaking yard. “Since our first vessels arrived in Alang earlier this year, we’ve seen significant progress – at the facility we are working with now, at the facilities that will recycle these next four vessels, and even at other facilities that have been encouraged to invest and upgrade,” says Annette Stube, Maersk Transport & Logitics Head of Sustainability. “With this tender, we have for the first time seen that the ship recyclers compete not only on price but also on standards. This indicates a move towards higher standards, and we will continue to encourage this development,” says Stube. The plots run by Shree Ram and Y S Investments are among the seven to be certified by the Japanese class society ClassNK for compliance with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships that was adopted by the International Maritime Organization in 2009. The other HKC compliant recycling yards certified by ClassNK are R L Kalthia Ship Breaking Pvt Ltd, Priya Blue Industries Pvt Ltd, Leela Ship Recycling Pvt Ltd and J R D Industries. Italian Class Society RINA has certified about ten recycling yards for compliance with HKC while IRClass has certified three plots. Maersk Line is expected to send the four vessels to the ship recycling yards between mid-December 2016 and mid-March 2017. “These vessels represent roughly 1% of our fleet, so this is a small but meaningful capacity reduction, which will contribute to achieving a better balance between supply and demand for Maersk Line” says Maersk Line COO, Søren Toft. In the coming years, Maersk Line expects to recycle a larger number of vessels than in previous years as more vessels are coming to their economical end of life. With Maersk Line’s fleet of more than 600 vessels, owned and chartered, any decision to recycle depends on a broad set of variables – not least the state of the market.

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