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GSR Services: Location blights many ship recyclers

Suedergellersen: Too often the reputation of decent ship recyclers are tarred simply by their geographic location, argues one of the world’s leading experts on the sector in today’s Maritime CEO interview.

Henning Gramann is the ceo and founder of GSR Services, a consultancy on ship recycling. An environmental engineer, he has been involved in maritime since the year 2000. His career has seen him work as an environmental officer onboard a Germany cruiseship, before heading up class society Germanischer Lloyd’s ship recycling division.

Gramman is also a consultant for the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Town Development, representing Germany at the Maritime Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) since 2005, contributing substantially to the International Convention for Safe and Environmentally sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention) and related guidelines. He is also a project leader for ISO Ship recycling management systems standards (ISO 30003 and ISO 30005) and boardmember of the International Ship Recycling Association (ISRA).

With green recycling now becoming more in demand, many yards are losing out by dint of their location, Gramann claims.

“The major challenge,” he says, “is that yards are judged by their location and not what they’re really doing. In any recycling country we can see huge differences with regards to health, safety and the environmental protection. Therefore the good guys have to work on their own profile and clarify what they’re doing.”

Green ship recycling is, Gramann acknowledges, still a small niche market but nevertheless green yard capacity is developing fast.

“It’s too early to talk about shifting markets, as close to all deals are still not green today, but awareness and demand is rising amongst shipowners,” Gramann says.

With ship recyclers the world over reporting tough financial times of late, Gramann is hopeful the worst might be over.

“I hope for a stabilisation and maybe an upswing when general demand on scrap steel picks up and the Chinese imports of steel billets into many countries decline,” he concludes.

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