Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 07

14 Jan 2021
Author: Mr. Kiran Thorat & Dr. Anand Hiremath

Safe Accesses to the ships at HKC compliant Ship Recycling Facilities 

Ships specific Ship Recycling Plans (SRP) are prepared for the vessel delivered to the HKC compliant recycling yards. Ships are cut into slices as per the SRP, keeping stability in mind. The most important aspect of recycling ships is ACCESS to the ship and its structures during the recycling process. Recycling facilities face high tide and low tide regularly, which affects the safe access to the ships.

The ship's bulbous bow is the first point of entry to the vessel. A window is cut at the bulbous bow to get access to the vessel. A firm ladder with handrails is secured from the jetty of the recycling facility to the bulbous bow. Similarly, multiple windows are cut at different locations on the hull for ventilation purposes. The vessel is permitted to start cutting by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB). As the cutting progresses, the ship's hull is pulled towards the yard. The access ladder is also continuously adjusted and secured to ensure safe access. 


Occasionally steel plates are used for accessing vessels depending upon the height difference from the jetty to the ship. Barricades are installed to limit the walking boundaries.

Tiger tapes are used to barricade the areas to indicate workers about 'No Go Areas' on the ship's structures during the cutting process. Similar ladders are secured within the vessel's hull for intermediate deck access.

The recycling facility's safety officer confirms that access to the ship's hull is safe before commencing the work. Logs are maintained at the entry point to the vessel to account for the workers working onboard the vessel. Workers are not allowed to board the vessel without adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

HKC compliant recycling yards are continuously improving the working practices to make ship recycling sustainable. 

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Ship Recycling Team

About Author

Kiran Thorat is a Trader at GMS, where he looks after sustainable ship recycling projects. Kiran believes that Sustainable Recycling is an integral part of Sustainable Shipping and a notable example of a circular economy. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from the Marine Engineering and Research Institute (DMET), India, and a Master's Degree in Energy, Trade, and Finance from Cass Business School, London.

Dr. Anand M. Hiremath is a Civil Engineer and holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati), India. He was awarded Doctorate Degree in the year 2016 for his research work on Ship Recycling by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), India. In addition, he has a diploma in Industrial safety, is a qualified lead auditor for ISO 9k, 14k and 18k. Dr. Hiremath published the first practical handbook on ship recycling, entitled: "The Green Handbook: A Practical Checklist to Monitor the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships" which highlights the procedures the GMS RSRP follows to help both Ship and Yard Owners recycle a vessel in an environmentally-friendly manner. He is the Chief Sustainability Officer of GMS.

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Ship Recycling Team