In this quarterly publication, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform informs about the shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. In total, 73 ships were dismantled from July until September 2022.
Developments in Bangladesh
n July, Bangladesh has temporarily closed its market after price fall s due to a 20% devaluation of its currency.
The decline in the shipbreaking activities was furthermore caused by the restriction from Bangladesh’s Central Bank in giving letters of credit of above $3m to yard owners.
Moreover, the Bangladesh Bank declared the need for central approval for letters of credit over $5m and suspended letters over $25m except in exceptional circumstances.
In addition, a shipbreaking worker has filed a case against Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills (KSRM) following an accident in 2016. After the accident, KSRM authorities paid only one month of medical expenses.
Since the family was not able to cover treatment expenses , the worker filed a complaint with the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) in May 2017, but the company stopped providing treatment costs after September 2021.
The worker is accusing the company of physical harassment when he went to the yard and demanded his compensation. The court took cognizance of the matter and called the accused to appear in court and pay their dues.
Developments in Pakistan
The Pakistan Navy is supporting and incentivising the development of a Blue Economy in the country. Blue Economy aims to boost economic growth, social inclusion, and raise people’ s living standards while maintaining sustainability in different activities centered on coastal development, shipping, and port infrastructure.
The aim is also to revive the shipbreaking sector as it is estimated to contribute $10 million to GDP annually and, according to the Minister of Defense of Pakistan, it is an opportunity for the “development of an efficient ship-breaking industry ”.
The Platform urges Pakistan to look at sustainable ship recycling “off the beach” and to ensure adequate facilities for downstream waste management.
What is more, the works at shipbreaking yards in Gadani were halted due to heavy rains in the Balochistan region in August.
The shipbreaking plots were flooded while five to six ships were being dismantled. Also, the industry has been affected by the high dollar prices.
According to the Ship Breakers Association, no ship has arrived at the yards since June due both to the high cost of the dollar and the heavy rains that affected millions of people in Paki stan, including in Balochistan and Gadani.
Pakistan is limiting the import of ships in order to pay attention to its own foreign reserves, after the country faced a terrible natural disaster, and hundreds of lives have been lost.