India – Maersk Group has announced it will send its first two container ships to the Alang shipbreaking yard in India this month. Maersk Wyoming and Maersk Georgia will both be dismantled and recycled at the site, which the shipping giant claims has witnessed ‘steady improvements’ in operating conditions over recent years.
Maersk Group will send the vessels to the Shree Ram Yard which is certified to Hong Kong Convention standards. Previously, Maersk has opted for ship recycling in a select few shipbreaking yards in China and Turkey. ‘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,’ says Annette Stube, Maersk’s head of sustainability.
‘This development will take time, but we are determined to work with the yards for the long haul.’ The Alang plans ‘come at a cost for us’, she adds, ‘but we will invest money and human resources to ensure we can already now scrap our vessels in compliance with the Hong Kong Convention provisions as well as international standards on labour conditions and anti-corruption’.
Noting that Maersk will have staff onsite at Shree Ram, she explains: ‘They will be working closely with the yard to further upgrade practices, processes and facilities to ensure that the recycling of our vessels complies with our standards.’
Maersk argues that a first step towards boosting demand for responsible ship recycling is building a broader collaboration with other ship owners. Therefore, the company will conduct talks with Japanese vessel owners in collaboration with the Japanese Shipowners’ Association over the coming months.
Would you like to share any interesting developments or article ideas with us? Don't hesitate to contact us.