Europe has the capacity to recycle all EU-flagged ships

Europe has more than adequate capacity to recycle EU-flagged ships, according to new analysis from the International Ship Recycling Association (ISRA).

At the end of this year a new EU ship recycling regulation will come into force, which stipulates that the recycling capacity to recycle EU-flagged ships should be 2.5m ldt.

Analysis of historic figures by ISRA shows that the amount of end of life of EU-flagged ships in the past eight years declined from an average of 750,000 ldt to 450,000 ldt per year. The current listed EU capacity to recycle ships amounts to 1.3m ldt, which ISRA believes is ample to cope with the expected demand of end of life EU flagged ships.

Moreover, an additional capacity of around 0.5m ldt will become available next year.

ISRA research has also debunked the myth that European recycling yards cannot handle larger ships, pointing out that there are a range of large yards in Turkey.

Commenting on the research, Ingvild Jenssen, director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said: “The shipowners’ capacity claims are a clear red herring. Alternatives to beaching end-of-life ships exist. It boils down to not accepting the low occupational safety and environmental protection standards that allow many unapproved yards to operate cheaply.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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