15 January 2015 – India: The Alang ship recycling hub in Gujarat, India, will upgrade 70 shipbreaking yards over the next four years thanks to a US$ 180 million loan, IHS Maritime has reported.
According to Atul Sharma of the Gujarat Maritime Board, some 85% of the funds will be provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), with India investing the remaining 15%. Currently being processed by federal and state governments, the proposal envisages that the loan will be repaid over 40 years at an interest rate of 1.4%.
Planned upgrades will cover: the construction of a pre-treatment facility for the removal and treatment of those hazardous materials from ships that raise ‘special concerns’; and expansion of the current treatment storage disposal facility such that it will be possible for 25 tonnes of waste to be incinerated daily.
According to Sharma, part of the funding will benefit the ongoing construction of a pilot housing project to accommodate 1000 labourers at first and up to 5000 workers over the next three years.
Thus far, four of Alang’s recycling yards have completed the first phase of an international standard certification process. Once approved, the yards will officially meet the standards of the International Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.
‘Japanese companies own 2000 out of the total 3000 major ships in the world’ points out Keiji Tomoda, chairman of the Ship Recycling Sub-Committee of the Japanese Ship Owners’ Association. ‘Most of the Japanese-owned ships go to China for recycling after their life. But we want to sell end-of-life ships to India because India offers better prices than China.’