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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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Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 04

 

Safe removal and recycling of batteries recovered during Ship Recycling.

 

Batteries are used as an emergency source of electric power on ships of all types. Lead is usually found in lead-acid batteries. Lead is considered as heavy metal and correct handling of it is essential. Similarly, contact with acid is hazardous to human health.

End-of-Life vessels are delivered to the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) compliant recycling facilities in India with the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) part I, II, and III. Batteries are listed, located, and quantified in the IHM. As per ship specific Ship Recycling Plan, the SOPs are prepared to remove and dispose of these batteries. Only trained workers are allowed to remove the batteries. Workers are given adequate PPE, consisting of hardhat, safety shoes, gloves, overalls, glasses, and masks. Batteries that contain acids and lead are isolated from the electrical power cables, transported, and stored at designated areas in recycling facilities by trained workers. The designated area is well ventilated. The workers are made aware of the possibility of rapid charge release from the batteries and their heavyweights. Safe manual lifting practices are followed.

ship-recycling-demystified

 

Extra care is taken not to cause any physical damage to the batteries to avoid any acid splash (electrolyte). The workers are also trained to handle acid spills and first aid measures in case of contact is made with the acid.

The batteries are sold to the authorized recyclers for recycling purposes and the battery submission manifests are maintained at the recycling yards.

The increasing safety culture and strict compliance to the SOPs at the HKC compliant recycling facilities are admirable 

 

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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Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 01

The Myth: Ships are broken down by hands in recycling yards in South Asian Countries and workers had to lift steel pieces with bare hands.

The Reality:

Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (HKC) Compliant Ship Recycling Yards are equipped with cranes of different capacities ranging from Safe Working Load (SWL) of 200T to 12T. Cranes are used for distinct purposes.

In the ship recycling facilities, ships are cut in three different zones. The primary cutting zone is the vessel itself. A large slice of the vessel's hull is marked and cut as per the approved ship-specific Ship Recycling Plan (SRP). While marking and cutting the slice, factors like ship stability and SWL of the handling crane are considered. These heavy blocks are lifted by the heavy-duty crane (SWL 200 T) from the vessel and transferred to the secondary cutting zone without any contact with the intertidal zone. In the secondary cutting zone, the larger slice is cut down into smaller slices. The cutting is done in such a way that larger plates are extracted for useful applications. While doing this, the slices need to be cut in smaller sections and often aligned to get the right access for the cutting torch. Medium capacity cranes (SWL 35 T) are used for handling smaller slices in the secondary cutting zone. The same crane is used to transfer lighter sections to the tertiary zones, where stiffeners and brackets are cut into smaller parts.

The Cranes with SWL 12 to 18T are used to load the extracted steel plates into the truck used for transportation. These steel plates are transported to steel rolling mills to make steel bars which are used in the construction industry, and scrap steel is sent to electric arc furnaces.

In Indian recycling yards, only lighter pieces (lesser than 2 Kg) of scrap steel are hand lifted by the workers only for segregation purposes. They are provided with adequate PPE. Recycling facilities based in Bangladesh use cranes with magnetic grabs to handle the steel plates and scrap pieces.

The workers involved in gas cutting wear adequate PPE, including hard hats, overalls, safety shoes, gloves, masks, and gas cutting glasses. A qualified safety officer supervises the complete process.
 
The cranes are inspected and load tested every six months to ensure the cranes' good health by the competent authorities.

It is incredible to see the progress made by the recycling facilities in India. In the entire process of removing slices from the vessel's hull until loading on the trucks, the heavy steel pieces or plates are never handled manually with bare hands in HKC compliant yards. 

– END OF TEXT –

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

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Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 03

The Myth: Workers get exposed to asbestos during the ship recycling process, which results in chronic occupational health impacts. Disposed asbestos on beaches contaminates the surrounding environment.


The Reality: 

Asbestos is primarily found as an insulation material in the form of laggings on the steam pipes and exhaust pipes of the main engine, aux engines, and boilers on older vessels. Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) are found in flange joints and gaskets of different pipelines. From 1st January 2011, the new installation of materials that contain asbestos is prohibited on all ships. IMO and EUSRR made it mandatory to have an Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM) onboard vessels. End-of-Life ships are delivered to the recycling facilities with the IHM Part I, II, and III. The places where asbestos and ACM are present are marked and identified as per the ship-specific Ship Recycling Plan (SRP) and Part I of IHM. Where there is a doubt regarding the presence of asbestos, a fresh sample is taken and tested in certified laboratories to confirm the presence of asbestos. The workers use adequate PPE, which comprises helmets, safety glasses, masks, hand gloves, safety shoes, boiler suits, and disposable overalls while removing and packaging asbestos. While handling asbestos to avoid dispersion in the air, an enclosed area is created. The area is barricaded with warning signposts to prevent unauthorized access. Asbestos is made wet before and during the removal process to suppress it. Pipe joints or machinery gaskets containing ACM are removed in such a way that ACM are not disturbed.

Removed asbestos and ACM are packed in the approved packaging, which comprises double-layered plastic bags. The bags are labeled, sealed, and stored in the designated isolated areas in the recycling facility. The recycling yard delivers these bags containing asbestos to the Gujarat Enviro Protection Infrastructure Ltd. (GEPIL) for final disposal. 
The asbestos is solidified and stabilized with cement and water, converting it into solid cubes and disposed of into engineered landfill at GEPIL (with HDPE geo liner and multiple layers of solids).  
It is evident that with the availability of trained workers, adequate PPE, SOPs, and GEPIL infrastructure, asbestos and ACM are removed and disposed of in a safe and environmentally sound way at HKC compliant recycling facilities in India. The myth of child workers handling asbestos with bare hands and polluting air, water, and land does not exist anymore. The progress made by the recycling facilities in India 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 

Read More

Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 02

The Myth:  Holes are drilled at the bottom of the tanks to discharge bilge water and waste oil from the beached vessel.

The Reality: International Maritime Organization (IMO), in its resolution MEPC 210 (63), mentions that residual oil tanks should be protected against leakage, overflow, fire, and other potential accidents. Therefore, HKC Compliant recycling facilities prepare a plan for the disposal of bilge water and waste oil present on the vessels as per Part II of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials.

At Alang, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) are the regulatory bodies responsible for handling the waste generated from the recycling vessels. GPCB has appointed Gujarat Enviro Protection Infrastructure Ltd. (GEPIL) to collect bilge water and oily wastes from the recycling vessels. The bilge water is transferred from the vessel into dedicated collection tanks and temporarily stored at storage areas within the yard. Bilge water is delivered to road transport tankers operated by GEPIL for further treatment at GEPIL facilities located in Alang. 

The waste oil is delivered to the GPCB authorized subcontractors, which dispatch the waste oil to the refineries. 

GEPIL is equipped with a bilge water separator to separate the oil from bilge water. The separated water is treated using an activated sludge process, and treated water is used for gardening as well as for suppression of dust over landfills. The separated oil is collected in the storage tanks. 

 

 

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