Maersk is sending two boxships to Alang in India for scrapping, a key trial for the Danish group’s recycling plans which have hitherto focused on China. The Maersk Wyoming and the Maersk Georgia will be recycled at the Shree Ram yard in Alang which is certified to the standards of the Hong Kong Convention.
“The market for ship recycling is dominated by practices unchanged for decades. Out of a total of 768 ships recycled globally in 2015, 469 – representing 74% of the total gross tonnage scrapped – were sold to facilities on beaches in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with challenges to workers and the environment,” Maersk noted in a statement.
“By initiating recycling of vessels in Alang at responsible yards, we ensure further development of financially feasible and responsible recycling options to the benefit of Alang and the shipping industry. This development will take time, but we are determined to work with the yards for the long haul,” said Annette Stube, head of sustainability in the Maersk Group.
Following several audits at upgraded facilities in Alang in 2015, the Maersk Group concluded that responsible recycling can be accelerated in the area, if the engagement is made now.
To accelerate the upgrade of more yards in Alang, Maersk is working on building a broader collaboration with other shipowners to increase demand for responsible ship recycling and to find sustainable solutions. A first step is a dialogue with Japanese shipowners in collaboration with the Japanese Shipowners Association (JSA) in the coming months.