13 January 2015 - A 14- member Japanese delegation comprising representatives from government departments and shipping industry association visited Alang-Sosiya ship recycling yard in Bhavnagar on Monday to study the infrastructure available at the yard and explore possible businesses in the recycling industry, as part of the Virbrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit (VGGIS), 2015.
The delegation had representatives from the ministry of transport of Japan and members from the Japanese Ship owners’ Association (JSA), an organisation of Japanese shipowners and operators. The delegation was led by Mitsuhiko Ida, deputy director of international affairs, ship building and ship machinery division in the maritime bureau in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Government of Japan.
They visited two ship recycling plots at Alang-Sosiya ship-recycling yard, the largest ship-breaking yard of Asia, on Monday. The visiting group also interacted with office-bearers of Ship Recycling Industries Association (India) or SRIAI, a body of ship recyclers in the country. “The purpose of the visit was to study infrastructure and attendant facilities available at the yard.
They are also looking at the environment conservation efforts. We are not aware of any proposal to ink any MoU between Japan and Gujarat government,” Jivraj Patel, president of SRIAI, told The Indian Express. “The two plots that they visited are being upgraded with the help of Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, known as Class NK or NK. The group would visit two more such plots on Tuesday.
The delegates are studying infrastructure, safety and environmental norms at the yard,” Haresh Parnar, secretary of SRIA said.
SRIAI was to host a dinner for the delegates at Nilambag Palace, a heritage hotel in Bhavnagar, late on Monday. They would end their visit after holding a joint meeting with SRIAI, Gujarat Maritime Board and other stake-holders in the industry at Alang on Tuesday. “Japan has a big ship-building industry but due to environmental concerns, it sends its decommissioned ships to China. Given the change in diplomatic environment, this visit by the Japanese delegation is important,” Parmar added.