AP Moller-Maersk remains in talks over gaining European Union approval for ship recycling in India.

Race against time: Maersk ‘getting creative’ to find new ship recycling sites

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The liner operator’s head of responsible ship recycling, Captain Prashant Widge, told TradeWinds the EU has been auditing yards at the major breaking centre of Alang.

These include some with which Maersk has had extensive engagement and which have confirmed compliance with the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

They are being held back from full EU approval for two reasons, Widge believes.

The first is regulatory. The Basel Convention’s amendment to include a ban on the movement of plastic waste in 2019 stalled the engagement and momentum the EU had developed with the Alang yards and their pending compliance.

There are also findings in the hinterland relating to lack of hospitals with trauma centres, and the handling and safe disposal of a few downstream waste materials.

“This has caused a bottleneck,” he said.

Alang, in Gujarat, north-west India, has been the most proactive ship breaking region in improving safety and environmental standards. Dozens of yards are seeking to meet the standards outlined in the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.

Maersk has said it believes the region’s best yards have attained the necessary standard to dismantle its ships and offshore structures.

“It’s a work in progress. We fully trust the [European] Commission’s judgement here, but we are also having a dialogue with them on how we can do this in a really inclusive environment,” Widge said.

“The yards on the EU list cannot handle the post-panamaxes in the shape and size and volumes that they are coming.”


Widge argued that a lot of EU-approved yards are really not interested in recycling ships, because they are well off building vessels and handling decommissioning of offshore assets. “That’s really where the bottleneck is,” he added.

Maersk’s aim is to create sustainable recycling solutions for the long term.

“Maersk has very high and stringent standards, which are in the public domain. We have been transparent about our policies and practices and co-founded the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative in 2019 to stir the demand side for responsible ship recycling and promote a level playing field,” he said.

Original post: https://www.tradewindsnews.com/containerships/eu-recognition-of-alang-recycling-is-a-work-in-progress-says-maersk/2-1-1337451