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Japanese scrutinise Alang shipbreaking yard

India – A high-level delegation from the Japan Shipowners’ Association (JASA), including representatives from Mitsubishi, has visited India in order to check on the environmental conditions at the world’s biggest shipbreaking yard, located at Alang.

Japan commands around a 30% share of the global shipping business and is considering where best to dispose of its old ships in the future. A senior official at the Gujarat Maritime Board, responsible for co-ordinating the visit, says: ‘At present, they are sending them to China for dismantling, but the facilities are getting saturated. Alang is the ultimate destination for them in this scenario.’

Japan is planning to extend funds to upgrade the Alang facility, according to the official. He adds: ‘We are going to prepare a detailed project report for utilisation of these funds.’

It has been reported that a 100 000-cubic-metre treatment, storage and disposal facility will be ready at the end of March. Additionally, an effluent treatment plant and incinerator will be installed, the latter of which will be capable of handling five tonnes of hazardous waste each day.

Regardless of the potential at Alang, the Japanese are insisting that the yard must comply with the Hong Kong protocol for safe and environmentally-friendly recycling, formulated by the International Maritime Organization in 2009, before fully-fledged co-operation can begin.

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