NGO: Norwegian Pension Funds to Focus on Indian Shipbreaking Yards

Norwegian Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) plans to turn its attention towards Indian shipbreaking practices, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform said. 

Illustration; Image Courtesy: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

As explained, this may result in further divestments from shipping companies with poor shipbreaking records.

In 2018, the Council on Ethics had already advised the fund to divest from companies, including container line Evergreen, selling their end-of-life vessels to shipbreaking yards located in Pakistan and Bangladesh “due to an unacceptable risk that the companies are contributing to serious environmental damage and gross violations of human rights”.

Norway’s largest private pension fund, Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP), followed suit and blacklisted the same companies.

In January, KLP also blacklisted Nordic American Tankers (NAT) following the sale of ten oil tankers for dirty and dangerous scrapping on beaching yards in South Asia. The Bermuda-registered company, controlled from Norway by Herbjørn Hanson, was firstly confronted by KLP for having sold eight ships for scrapping to South Asia in 2018, ensuring NAT a scrapping revenue of USD 80 million. Five vessels ended up in Chittagong, Bangladesh and three in Alang, India. The sale of two additional vessels to Bangladeshi yards prompted KLP to blacklist NAT earlier this year.

“KLP’s goal is that no ship ends up on a beach where irresponsible scrapping practices take place. It is the ship owners’ responsibility to identify which standards, routines and processes they need to comply with to ensure safe and responsible ship recycling”, Håvard Gulbrandsen, CEO of KLP, stressed.

The European Commission recently announced that two Indian yards — Priya Blue Industries and Shree Ram Vessel Scrap — that applied for inclusion in the European List of ship recycling facilities do not comply with the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

The site inspections and technical assessments, done by the classification society DNV GL, identified several areas where the yards do not meet the requirements for clean and safe ship recycling.