The International Maritime Organization, the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS) have jointly implemented the 30-month “Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh – Phase I” (SENSREC project). At a high-level closure meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 22 February, which followed site visits to ship-recycling yards, stakeholders highlighted the successful completion of the five work packages under the SENSREC project.

The project included economic and environmental studies on the ship-recycling industry in Bangladesh and on managing hazardous materials, refining the Government One-Stop Service, developing training materials and preparing a document for a follow-up Phase 2 to implement the recommendations. The second phase of the project is expected to focus on constructing a dedicated waste-management facility for treating, storing and disposing of the hazardous waste (TSDF), as well as rolling out a comprehensive training programme aimed at workers in ship recycling yards, supervisors and government officials.

Ms Sidsel Bleken, Ambassador of Norway to Bangladesh, said :“The SENSREC Project has achieved significant progress in terms of developing health, safety and environmental standards and appropriate training programmes that should stimulate a sustainable ship recycling business in Bangladesh. Now, it is important to apply these measures, particularly the workers’ training programme”. She added: "The purpose is to scale-up the capacity enhancement to its next level and support implementation measures relating to environment, health and safety standards, by institutionalising the workers’ training programme in practice”.

With an annual gross tonnage capacity of more than 8.8 million, the Bangladeshi ship recycling industry is one of the world’s most important, second only to neighbouring India in terms of volume.

Bangladesh ready for next phase to make ship recycling green and sustainable

The successful completion of the SENSREC Phase-I Project is expected to assist Bangladesh in working towards accession to IMO’s Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships and towards meeting the international standards stipulated by the Convention.

 Dr. Stefan Micallef, Director, Marine Environment Division, IMO commented: “The completion of phase I of the project is not merely the end of the initiative to improve the country’s ship recycling practice but rather a stepping stone or a very good starting point towards further development. IMO will continue to cooperate with the Government of Bangladesh and, as far as possible, support its efforts with regard to training for ship recycling”.

The main funding for the project came from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and additional funding from the European Union.

Source & Image credit: IMO