Japan Vows Support for Indian Ship Recycling Sector
Japan is said to be moving towards providing official development assistance to upgrade facilities and improve operations in the Indian ship recycling sector.
Director of Shipbuilding Policy at the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), Akihiro Tamura said that nothing has been officially decided yet, but the next step will be to carry out surveys of the yards to determine what support will be actually needed and to draw up an agreement between both countries.
Ship recycling yards in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh need to be part of the global scheme of sound ship recycling and those yards in Alang which have invested in fully upgrading their facilities to meet the terms of internationally-agreed rules should be rewarded by winning more business, Tamura added.
Tamura headed a Japanese delegation to a four-day fact finding trip to Indian recycling yards in Alang aimed at assessing the quality of beach recycling yards in the region.
The delegation included officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; the Japanese Shipowners Association; Jetro; shipping companies K-Line and JX Ocean; ClassNK; Japanese Labour Union; Japan Marine Science; as well as cash buyer Global Marketing Systems (GMS).
The Japanese delegation encouraged its Indian counterparts to meet the standards of the Hong Kong Convention – something Mr Tamura said the four top level yards in the region, Leela Ship Recycling, Priya Blue Industries, Kalthia Shipbreaking and Shree Ram Vessel Scrapping, seem to be very close to achieving already.
“Of course we would like to support larger numbers of yards in the region, but naturally there is some constraint regarding budget and time. However, our ultimate wish and purpose in providing assistance to India is to encourage the Indian government to move towards accession to the Hong Kong Convention,” Tamura pointed out.
“We have a strategy that includes the Japanese government supporting Indian yards to upgrade and also for ClassNK to support these yards through consultancy services and ultimately certification. Japanese ship owners will be willing to send their ships to “safe and environmentally sound” ship recycling yards in India and other countries and the entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention is a very important step to realising this goal,” he added.
Nikos Mikelis, Non-executive Director of GMS, said it was up to the shipping industry and the regulators to see the improvement in conditions themselves.
“We have already invited legislators from the European Commission, maritime administrations, IMO, as well as global ship owner representatives to visit the area and the invitation is still open. Separately, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) should be invited to hold a workshop/seminar in India to not only raise awareness of the improvements which have been made there but to inform and educate other yards as to what is needed to conform to the terms of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships,” he said.