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Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 05

Impermeable Floor at the Recycling Facilities in India. 

End-of-life vessels are delivered to the recycling facilities located on the coast of Alang, India. The Hong Kong Convention (HKC) compliant recycling facilities in India have built impermeable floors in recycling plots adjacent to the beach. The impermeable floors are constructed from multiple layers of gravel, coarse sand, plain cement concrete, and reinforced cement concrete. The usual thickness of the concrete floor is observed between 60 cm to 100 cm.

In fact, some yards have designed impermeable floors beyond the requirement and such yards have provided extra layers of geomembranes. The geo membranes have very low permeability, and they are made from synthetic materials such as High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE). Geo membranes used in impermeable flooring at ship recycling facilities are tear, impact, and puncture-resistant. These geomembranes prevent seepage of any fluids to the soil. 

The concrete floors are further protected from damages occurring due to heavy slices of the vessel’s hull by covering them with steel plates in secondary and tertiary cutting zones. These steel plates absorb the impact due to the heavy slice of the vessel’s structure. The damaged concrete surfaces are promptly repaired to avoid any seepage. Furthermore, these impermeable floors are connected to the drainage system.

The fluids such as oil, bilge water, and chemicals falling on the impermeable floor can be easily contained and cleaned on the impermeable floor. The rust particles, paint chips, and dust are collected and properly disposed of. The metal slag generated during the gas cutting is also collected and disposed of suitably.

Markings for emergency escape, muster stations, and various other identifications are done on the impermeable floor which keeps the markings intact for a longer time and makes convenient recognition for the workers. 

The scientific approach perceived by the HKC compliant recycling facilities for sustainable ship recycling is noteworthy. 

About Authors:

Kiran Thorat is a Sustainable Ship & Offshore Recycling Executive 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 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.

For further enquiries, contact us at green@gmsinc.net 

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