Ship recycling activities at Alang in India are suffering from a shortage of oxygen supplies as the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country is forcing the government to divert gas used for industrial purposes to hospitals.
‘Yards are using their reserves which are expected to run out,’ a cash buyer of ships for demolition, told local media.
Oxygen supplies are very important in ship dismantling, if not the most important ingredient for cutting. Ship breakers use handheld torches fuelled by oxygen and LPG to dismantle vessels.
The shortage of oxygen supply is said to have reduced output, which in turn has increased prices of re-rolling steel plates, according to market experts.
The lack of oxygen is adding to sluggish business at Alang – home to the world’s largest group of ship breaking facilities – as the second wave of the pandemic and fewer ships for dismantling hurt recyclers.