Another Bangladeshi shipbreaker achieves HKC compliance

SN Corporation’s Unit-02 ship recycling yard at Shitalpur, Sitakunda in Bangladesh has been certified as compliant with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) guidelines for the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) on sustainable ship recycling.

The certification process was undertaken by the Japanese classification society Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), establishing that SN Corporation was capable of the intensive procedural and performance standards required under the HKC.

The yard becomes only the second in Bangladesh to become compliant with the IMO Guidelines for Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling.

GMS, which is a major world buyer of ships and offshore vessels, said that it had assisted in the project under its Sustainable Ship & Offshore Recycling Programme (SSORP). Employees from SN Corp were offered technical support and guidance throughout the certification process in order to ensure a supported end-to-end solution for sustainable ship recycling, GMS said.

The IMO Guidelines offer a technical standard to assist in the early implementation of the HKC, with advice on how yards can achieve compliance such that ship recycling does not pose any unnecessary risks to human health/safety and the environment.

The convention is yet to be ratified, but some Asian sub-continent ship recycling yard operators have begun undertaking voluntary certification.

Bangladesh, India and Pakistan dismantle the majority of the global shipping fleet that have reached the end of their lives, dismantling 80% of the global end-of-life gross tonnage. Although there have been years of criticism of unsafe practices on the beaches of the three nations, the ability of these yards to pay more per ton than the regulation-compliant EU yards has meant that shipowners are still willing to sell to them – often indirectly and via flag and name changes.