Bangladesh mulls ship-recycling revolution

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

03 March 2017

The Government of Bangladesh is seeking international partnerships and financial support in an effort to make the country’s ship-recycling facilities greener and more sustainable.

The move follows the completion of the first phase of a project aimed at improving safety and environmental standards within the country’s ship-recycling industry.

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) have jointly implemented the 30-month “Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh – Phase I” (SENSREC project).

This includes economic and environmental studies on the ship-recycling industry in Bangladesh, studies on managing hazardous materials and 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.

The second phase of the project is expected to focus on constructing a dedicated waste-management facility for treating, storing and disposing of the hazardous waste (TSDF), as well as rolling out a comprehensive training programme aimed at workers in ship recycling yards, supervisors and government officials.

The 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 channelled through the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS).

With an annual gross tonnage capacity of more than 8.8 million, the Bangladeshi ship recycling industry is one of the world’s most important, second only to neighbouring India in terms of volume.