Bangladesh Targets Better Ship Recycling Practices

Photo: IMO

By Eric Haun

With an annual gross tonnage capacity of more than 8.8 million,
Bangladesh's ship recycling industry is one of the world's
largest, second only to neighboring India in terms of volume. But
for these countries ship recycling practices have long been a
matter of concern, particularly in terms of safety and
environmental sustainability.

Now on the heels of completing its first phase of a project
aiming to improve standards within the nation's ship recycling
industry, the Government of Bangladesh is seeking international
partnerships and financial support to help further improve the
country's ship recycling practices with greener and more
sustainable facilities.

The 30-month Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in
Bangladesh (SENSREC) project has been jointly implemented by the
International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Government of the
People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Secretariat of the Basel,
Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS).

With Phase 1 now concluded, a February 22 closure meeting in
Dhaka, Bangladesh, which followed site visits to ship recycling
yards, enabled stakeholder to highlight five work packages under
the SENSREC project. These included economic and environmental
studies on the ship recycling industry in Bangladesh; studies on
managing hazardous materials; refining the Government One-Stop
Service (in which all the various ministries with a
responsibility for ship recycling offer a single point of contact
for related matters); developing training materials; and
preparing a document for a follow-up Phase 2 to implement the
recommendations of the first phase.

The project's second phase will focus on constructing a dedicated
waste management facility for treating, storing and disposing of
the hazardous waste (TSDF), as well as rolling out a training
program for workers in ship recycling yards, supervisors and
government officials.

Main funding for the project came from the Norwegian Agency for
Development Cooperation (Norad). The European Union (EU) also
supported the project with additional funding channeled through
the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
(BRS).

Speaking at the Dhaka meeting, Sidsel Bleken, Ambassador of
Norway to Bangladesh, said, "The SENSREC Project has achieved
significant progress in terms of developing health, safety and
environmental standards and appropriate training programs that
should stimulate a sustainable ship recycling business in
Bangladesh. Now, it is important to apply these measures,
particularly the workers' training program."

"Following the positive momentum created by phase I of the
project, and based on the requests from industry stakeholders,
the Norwegian Embassy has decided to continue its support to the
ship-recycling sector in Bangladesh. The purpose is to scale-up
the capacity enhancement to its next level and support
implementation measures relating to environment, health and
safety standards, by institutionalizing the workers' training
program in practice," she said.

The opening session of the meeting was also addressed by Amir
Hossain Amu, Minister of Industries of the Government of
Bangladesh; Parag, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries,
Government of Bangladesh; Yasmin Sultana, National Project
Director; and Dr. Stefan Micallef, Director, Marine Environment
Division, IMO.

"The completion of phase I of the project is not merely the end
of the initiative to improve the country's ship recycling
practice but rather a stepping stone or a very good starting
point towards further development. IMO will continue to cooperate
with the Government of Bangladesh and, as far as possible,
support its efforts with regard to training for ship recycling,"
Dr. Micallef said.

The completion of the SENSREC Phase-I Project is expected to
assist Bangladesh in working toward accession to IMO's Hong Kong
Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of
Ships and toward meeting the international standards stipulated
by the Convention, IMO said.

The Project was coordinated by a dedicated Project Coordination
Unit established by IMO, including a project office and project
officer based in Dhaka. A number of international and national
consultants were used to deliver the technical activities within
the project.

Mar 1, 2017

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