Indian shipbreaking yards have been forced to suspend operations as the country is facing a shortage of oxygen supplies due to a recent surge in Covid-19 cases.
The number of coronavirus infections in India has crossed the 5m mark with over 90,000 new cases reported on Tuesday. There has been a significant shortage of medical oxygen at hospitals in the country, and the government has instructed oxygen suppliers to provide maximum output of production with hospitals and Covid care centres given priority.
“Due to rising Covid cases, oxygen supplies are being diverted to local hospitals, therefore there will be a shortage of oxygen at recycling yards which may lead to a slowdown of cutting in the weeks to come,” Jamie Dalzell, senior trader at cash buyer GMS told Splash.
According to report by cash buyer Best Oasis, 30% of the yards in India have already halved their operations due to non-availability of sufficient oxygen supplies, while the remaining 70% are expected to suspend operations by Friday.
“95% of the workers have returned back to Alang and now under such circumstances how will the facilities take care of their employees? This indeed is a big worry for ship recyclers,” Best Oasis mused in an update to clients.
Indian shipbreaking yards have only just started recovering from a lockdown earlier this year.