On its latest weekly report, GMS warns that Pakistan is at real risk of being left behind as a ship-recycling destination, having failed in upgrading their facilities to follow Hong Kong Convention guidelines.
ccording to GMS, financially, Pakistan is in the doldrums with some international media reporting that its U.S. Dollar foreign reserves are down to USD 2 Billion, which aren’t expected to last more than a few weeks (if that) and as a result, ship-recycling has slipped down the totem pole of Pakistan’s priorities.
Impact of Hong Kong Convention entering into force
After Bangladesh and Liberia ratified the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the Hong Kong Convention), it is now expected to enter into force. The Hong Kong Convention is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and to the environment.
Pakistan as a ship-recycling nation has yet to match the standards of the convention, as opposed to Turkey, India and Bangladesh. The impact of the historic Convention entering into force is already evident.
Recently, Mohammed Zahirul Islam, managing director at PHP, the first shipyard to become HKC compliant in 2017, told ICS that the journey to compliance was a five-year, multi-stage process for PHP. He had also warned that HKC will make sure shipowners and ship recyclers all have responsibilities and each will have different roles to play so that recycling takes place, sustainably and responsibly.
Regrettably, the ongoing domestic coups, constantly changing leadership, and political turmoil has further driven the economic state of the country in an overall mess. As such, it remains uncertain when Pakistan will get back to the buying, and it seems pointless even discussing vessels with Gadani Recyclers under the current circumstances, GMS notes.