Ship Recycling Association Says European Yards Have Sufficient Capacity Ahead of EU Ship Recycling Regulation

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An end of life ship bound for South Asia’s beaches seen at Singapore anchorage, January 11, 2016.

The International Ship Recycling Association says there is currently ample recycling capacity to meet the expected scrapping demand from the January 1, 2019 entry into force of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

According to the ISRA, an analysis of historical figures shows that the amount of end of life of EU flagged ships in the past eight years has declined to just 450,000 light displacement tonnes (LDT) per year, from an average of 750,000 LDT. 

The current listed EU capacity to recycle ships amounts 1.3 million LDT, meaning current capacity exceeds the amount needed to cope with the expected demand of end of life EU flagged ships.

Furthermore, additional capacity of estimated 0.5 million LDT will become available as more recycling facilities are listed on the EU-list end of the year, ISRA said.

The EU Ship Recycling Regulation, which was adopted in 2013, requires that starting in 2019 all end-of-life ships flying an EU Member State flag have to be recycled at an approved shipyard included an on EU list of approved recycling facilities. The primary goal of the regulation promote environmentally-friendly ship recycling and to keep EU flagged ships from ending up South Asia’s beaches. 

The European Commission published an initial version of the EU list in 2016, with 18 shipyards included that are all located in European Union. Since then the list has growing to 21 facilities of May 2018, representing at minimum 1 million LDT capacity. 

The regulation has faced pressure from European shipowners, who have called for the European Commission to open the list to non-EU countries to ensure there is enough recycling capacity in the EU to keep pace with demand.

While the Commission has opened the application process to foreign yards in countries Turkey, China, and even India, whether or not they will be included remains to be seen.

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, which promotes sound ship breaking practices and strongly opposes beaching, agrees that the yards on the list have sufficient capacity to recycle the anticipated demand even after the EU Ship Recycling Regulation’s entry into force. 

The ISRA agrees. “Analysis of the expected volume of EU flagged end-of-life-vessels from 2019 on shows that the next eight years this volume will not exceed the 1 million LDT,” the ISRA said in an email.

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