Danish shipping giant Maersk Line has announced plans to scrap eight panamax ships at yards in India and China.
The world’s largest container shipping company has come under fire this year over its shipbreaking practices, specifically its return to beaching facilities in Alang, India where the company intends to recycle more ships in the future.
Maersk says of the eight ships, four will be recycled in Alang, including two at Shree Ram and two at Y.S. Investments. Two Maersk ships are already being recycled at Shree Ram, although at a different yard than panamax vessels will be sent to.
The four vessels to be sent to China will be recycled at Jiangyin Xiagang Changjiang Ship Recycling in China, a Lloyd’s Register certified facility.
The contract awards follow a tender issued in November in which five hand-picked ship recycling facilities in India and China were invited to participate. All ship recyclers agreed to the A.P. Moller – Maersk Responsible Ship Recycling Standard (RSRS) as a prerequisite to enter the tender.
Maersk says recycling supervision in India will be carried out by Maersk QHSE superintendents and external consultants to ensure responsible ship recycling operations according to the A.P. Moller – Maersk RSRS.
“Since our first vessels arrived in Alang earlier this year, we’ve seen significant progress – at the facility we are working with now, at the facilities that will recycle these next four vessels, and even at other facilities that have been encouraged to invest and upgrade,” says Annette Stube, Maersk Transport&Logitics Head of Sustainability.
In the coming years, Maersk Line says it expects to recycle a larger number of vessels than in previous years as more vessels are coming to their economical end of life. Maersk sees its return to Alang as an investment in specific yards that are already certified according to the Hong Kong Convention and are committed to meeting Maersk’s own standards.
“With this tender, we have for the first time seen that the ship recyclers compete not only on price but also on standards. This indicates a move towards higher standards, and we will continue to encourage this development,” says Annette Stube.
Estimated transfer dates of the eight panamax vessels to the ship recycling yards are between mid-December 2016 and mid-March 2017.