Cash buyer GMS has said that the certification of two Indian ship recycling yards as compliant with international shipbreaking standards proves a ban on the beaching method would be “short-sighted”.
In reference to the continuing debate over whether the European Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR), which is applicable from 2018, should include or ban beaching, Anil Sharma, founder and CEO of GMS, said the certifications won by the yards from Japanese classification society ClassNK this week prove beyond doubt that not all beaching is bad.
“GMS has argued that declaring blanket bans on beaching without viewing individual upgraded sites is short-sighted and these statements of compliance vindicate our position,” said Sharma.
Yesterday, ClassNK announced that the two yards – both based in Alang in the western state of Gujarat and belonging to Kalthia and Priya Blue Industries – comply with the technical standards of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009. This regulation is currently only ratified by Norway, France, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and has yet to come into force.
Meanwhile, the EU SRR came into force on 30 December 2013 and will soon have a list of recycling yards that are acceptable under this regulation appended to it. This list is due to be published by the end of 2016 and is widely expected to exclude yards that practise the beaching method of shipbreaking.
GMS has arranged trips to the Indian yards for Japanese industry and government delegates and for the Danish Shipping Association so the officials “could see for themselves the improvements being made by some of the more forward-thinking ship recycling yards” and “make the important distinction between yards that use beaching and comply with the Hong Kong Convention on Ship Recycling and those that do not”.
Sharma said he hoped the compliance success of these two yards “will have a positive effect by encouraging other yards in Alang and the rest of the Asian subcontinent to follow suit and upgrade their facilities to achieve similar recognition”.
Speaking to IHS Maritime earlier in the year, GMS warned that if beaching was banned, Turkish recyclers could find themselves facing more demand than they could cope with, as EU owners would be obliged to rely on them solely to dispose of their old vesse