South Korean ship owner H-LINE Shipping sends first ship for green recycling to SN Corporation in Chittagong, Bangladesh

23 Jun 2023
Author: GMS Media Team

H-Line Shipping, a prominent ship owner based in South Korea, has taken a significant step towards promoting environmentally responsible practices by selecting SN Corporation, located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, for its first green recycling initiative.

Recently, Bangladesh ratified the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, an agreement established in 2009. As the 21st state to ratify this convention, Bangladesh has voluntarily adhered to its guidelines even before it has come into force. Notably, leading classification societies, which are also members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), have thoroughly examined the recycling processes and existing infrastructure. Following this verification, both ClassNK and IRS have issued Statements of Compliance (SOC).

The yard boasts a 100% impermeable concrete floor, designed to contain and facilitate the easy cleanup of fluids such as oil, bilge water, and chemicals. Additionally, the yard diligently collects and disposes of rust particles, paint chips, and dust. During gas cutting, the generated metal slag is appropriately gathered and disposed of.

To ensure smooth operations during the cutting process, the yard is equipped with two crawler cranes with capacities of 100 and 150 tons, guaranteeing efficient movement of heavy steel blocks. Furthermore, seven magnetic cranes are available for loading and stacking steel plates, while three pick and carry trucks with a capacity of 14 tons facilitate the seamless transportation of steel plates, eliminating the need for manual lifting.

The yard also benefits from a 40-ton capacity barge-mounted crane, which aids in lifting steel blocks from the ship's hull and placing them on the impermeable floor, thus minimizing contact with the intertidal zone. Safety during the recycling process is upheld by eight 75-ton capacity winches, which securely hold the ship's hull in place. Furthermore, the yard is equipped with advanced firefighting arrangements, including a water reservoir, fire pump, fire line, fire hydrants, and fire hoses, along with portable fire extinguishers in accordance with the fire plan. Additionally, two oily water separators are present to separate oil from bilge water collected during the cleaning process of oily blocks, complemented by an incinerator. HSE team consists of well trained and experienced master mariners assures safe working practices.

Throughout the ship recycling process, hazardous materials are segregated and stored separately within the yard premises. In the event asbestos is discovered onboard a vessel, an asbestos decontamination unit is employed to remove it. The yard provides essential facilities such as a workers' canteen, drinking water, first aid measures, and medical check-ups. Accommodation for yard workers adheres to the standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) through in-house labor colonies. All workers are equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure their safety. Moreover, the in-house training facility accommodates up to 50 workers at a time.

Bangladesh has been actively involved in ship recycling for over five decades, with more than 40 operational recycling facilities in Chittagong alone. This industry has a significant direct and indirect impact on the employment sector, providing jobs for over 200,000 people. The HKC-compliant yards in Chittagong have established robust infrastructure to ensure sustainable ship recycling practices.

By selecting an HKC-compliant yard in Chittagong for its first green recycling initiative, H-LINE Shipping demonstrates a steadfast commitment to promoting sustainable practices and sets a positive example for the maritime industry. This decision highlights H-LINE’s forward-thinking approach and concern for the environment. Not only does this initiative contribute to the protection of our environment, but it also has a profound social impact by generating ample employment opportunities for a significant number of people.

The pioneering steps taken by H-LINE Shipping and their confidence in choosing HKC-compliant facilities in Bangladesh will undoubtedly inspire other prominent ship owners from Japan and South Korea to follow suit. As leaders in the maritime industry embrace sustainable ship recycling practices, the positive impact on the environment and the global shipping sector as a whole will be substantial.

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