29 May 2012

GMS weekly report on shipbreaking industry for WEEK 21 of 2012:

The struggle to locate end buyers for any type of vessels in any recycling market, continued into this week despite a few signs of stability emerging from India as evidenced by some improvements in steel prices.

However, the Indian Rupee, which remained the real cause for concern after reaching historic lows last week and forcing virtually all local end buyers to halt buying activities, remains at suppressed levels against the US Dollar.

Meanwhile, as remains evident, a crippling combination of factors has conspired in recent weeks to present an overall bleak outlook for all recycling markets, with the exception perhaps of Turkey where prices appear to be nearly on par with China.

Mercifully, the fall in price seems to have led to a slowdown in the supply of candidates with many owners unimpressed by the swift and dramatic falls over the past few weeks and subsequently withdrawing their units from the market as levels continued to slip.

Whether levels will pick up post monsoon remains an optimistic/hopeful outlook and a steady supply rather than a deluge of vessels all at one time, could help prices to stay in the (historically impressive) mid 400s range for all markets.

Arrivals into the Pakistan, India and China markets have all slowed over the past few weeks with only Bangladesh being inundated with arriving vessels. With budgets and monsoon months also just around the corner, it may be just what is needed to build up the confidence and aggression to buy once again.

Of course many cash buyers still hold 'as is' tonnage and continue to struggle with delivered vessels with end buyers looking to pull the usual catalogue of stunts in order to justify their high priced purchases and knock money off.

For week 21 of 2012, GMS demo rankings for the week are as below:



CountryMarket SentimentGEN Cargo PricesTanker Prices
BangladeshWeakUSD 435/lt ldtUSD 455/lt ldt
PakistanWeakUSD 420/lt ldtUSD 440/lt ldt
IndiaWeakUSD 410/lt ldtUSD 440/lt ldt
ChinaWeakUSD 380/lt ldtUSD 400/lt ldt

Source: Steel Guru. 29 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/international_news/GMS_report_on_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_21_2012/265999.html

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh shipbreaking industry for WEEK 21 of 2012:

As vessels continue to arrive into Chittagong at a furious rate (a result of the buying frenzy of several weeks ago), any confidence that cash buyers had that Bangladesh could prop up a creaking market, were left shattered by a complete slump in prices and local buying interest.

As many had predicted, once the majority of the hot / able buyers had booked their units, a relative gloom descended over the industry this week, with only the less capable / financially solvent buyers open to buy and that too at far reduced levels.

Furthermore, steel prices came under pressure after several days of consecutive falls leaving an overall dramatic shortage of buyers on the market for those vessels that continue to be proposed.

Several interesting deals were reported for the week at levels that would, now, not be considered viable (perhaps the relevant cash buyers have speculated on their high priced purchases). The VLCC APOLLO 16 (34,673 LDT) was reportedly sold 'as is' Labuan for USD 461/LT LDT and the Frontline controlled ex OBO FRONT RIDFR (23,473 LDT) was sold 'as is' Singapore for region USD 440/LT LDT.

Source: Steel Guru. 29 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/indian_news/GMS_weekly_report_on_Bangladesh_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_21/265919.html

GMS weekly report on Indian shipbreaking industry for WEEK 21 of 2012:

The previous week witnessed the rupee slip to consecutive lows for seven consecutive trading sessions and finish at a historic nadir come Thursday.

Similar to the fourth quarter of last year, the falling Rupee has seen very few end buyers even willing to come forth and offer on available tonnage. In fact, the Rupee took such an unprecedented fall during last week that reportedly, the Reserve Bank of India stepped in to cull the fall.

As a result, local confidence took an extreme knock reflective of an overall sense of uncertainty in the national economy going forward.

However, there was moderate reprieve this week as steel prices finally showed marginal signs of improvement as the week ended, with some gains made following the dramatic falls of several weeks ago.

However, as long as the currency remains in turmoil, buying is expected to remain slow for some time. Certainly, a shortage of candidates at the shorefront has been noticeable over the past couple of weeks and it could be that a slowdown in the supply of tonnage brings with it a pickup in prices post monsoon.

Source: Steel Guru. 29 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/indian_news/GMS_weekly_report_on_Indian_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_21/265913.html

GMS weekly report on Chinese shipbreaking industry for WEEK 21 of 2012:

Rather than using Indian sub continent turmoil as a chance to pick up a few units themselves, China instead relied on their own mini crisis, to make it a miserable past few weeks in international ship recycling quarters.

Not one market sale was registered to local users this week, despite the handvsize bulker ATLANTIC MAJESTY (8,259 LDT) delivering successfully to end buyers at a verv firm USD 415/LT LDT (including 350 T of bunkers upon arrival).

Levels on dry vessels are varying greatly from 360 to 390/LT LDT (depending on specs) and many vessels are not even able to find end buyers with a lot of the yards already packed full of tonnage.

Source: Steel Guru. 29 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/chinese_news/GMS_weekly_report_on_Chinese_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_21/265971.html

GMS weekly report on Pakistan shipbreaking industry for WEEK 21 of 2012:

The week before the budget was never going to be a busy one for local Pakistan buyers, and so it proved to be this time around with few local sales to speak of and very few end buyers even emerging to buy.

No doubt, events in India will be watched with interest in the hope of securing a bargain or two post budget.

Many yards are still stuffed with tonnage and a break from the buying could be just the tonic needed to emerge back to the table in a month or two with the aggression Gadani buyers have proved themselves capable of several times this year already.

Source: Steel Guru. 29 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/middle_east_news/GMS_weekly_report_on_Pakistan_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_21_2012/265945.html

25 May 2012

Call to safeguard rights of shipbreaking workers:

KARACHI: National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) Pakistan on Thursday organised a seminar entitled “Boom in Ship Breaking Industry & Denial of Basic Labour Rights” at a local hotel to highlight the injustice being done against ship breaking yards’ workers.

Pointing out the injustice with workers, the speakers said that shipbreaking yard owners in Gaddani had been earning hefty profits each month but thousands of workers who made it possible because of their skills were yet forced to work and live like slaves.

On behalf of the workers, they demanded a 50% increase in wages, registration of all workers with social security and permission to form union and bargain collectively. Labour leaders said that billions of rupees were earned in profit in this thriving business but workers were deprived of all basic human and labourer rights as envisaged in the labour laws as well as the constitution.

They said majority of them work in very vulnerable conditions without any safety check with low wages and no medical facility, proper residential quarter or drinking water. Workers are being treated just like animals and not even a single one of them has been given an appointment letter. Contractors (Jamadars) act like ‘masters’ who enjoy full support of local police and administration while labour departments are least bother about the well being and better working conditions of the workers, they added.

On the occasion, they unanimously demanded that the right to form union be immediately restored, wages be increased by 50%, all workers be registered with Social Security and Employees Old Age Benefits Institution, safety at work place be ensured, medical hospital with all basic facilities be established, canteen with hygienic food be provided at subsidised rates, school and labour residential colony with water supply and sewerage system be provided and all federal, provincial and international labour laws be observed in letter and spirit.

Talking about the operations at breaking yard, they said that more than 60 big and small ships typically anchor at different Gaddani shipbreaking yards for dismantlement and nearly 15,000 workers directly or indirectly, were engaged in the process.

A minute of silence was also observed in respect of the martyrs of 22 May carnage in Karachi and a resolution condemning the fascist/racist arm gangs’ sinister designs against the working class to divide them on ethnic and lingual basis was passed. The seminar also strongly condemned the demand of Muhajir province and declared that working class stood for national and historical integrity and oneness of Sindh at all costs.

NTUF President Mohammed Rafiq Baloch presided over the seminar, while Habibuddin Junaidi Chairman of All Pakistan Trade Union Organisation, National Trade Union Federation Deputy General Secretary Nasir Mansoor, Farid Awan General Secretary of Pakistan Workers Confederation Sindh, Bashir Ahmed Mehmoodani President of Gadani Ship Breaking Democratic Workers Union, Tahir Khan Yusufzai General Secretary Gadani Ship Breaking Democratic Workers Union, Ghani Zaman Awan General Secretary Karachi Ship Yard Labour Union, Shehla Rizwan of Home Based Women Workers Federation and Shafi Ghori expressed their views.

Source: By Asad Farooq. 25 May 2012
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C05%5C25%5Cstory_25-5-2012_pg12_6

Undignified end to Iron Monarch?

The tireless MV Iron Monarch will be beached in India and sold for scrap in what appears to be a sad end for the famous steel-carrier, online reports claim.

The former BlueScope Steel workhorse is likely to be destroyed at shipbreaking yards near Bhavnagar, the reports indicate.

The Mercury has been unable to confirm the reports.

Bhavnagar is located in the state of Gujarat on India's west coast, on the Gulf of Khambat, slightly north of the Alang ship-breaking yards, the final destination for thousands of ageing vessels that are run up on the beach and torn apart by an army of labourers.

A familiar sight to many in the Illawarra, The Iron Monarch shipped steel slabs between BlueScope's Port Kembla and Western Port facilities for almost 40 years.

The 10,584-tonne vessel received a $17 million overhaul last year, but was then sold to Mercury Shipping Inc for what was believed to be between $4 million and $5 million. Further details about the new owners were not available. A BlueScope spokesman confirmed the Iron Monarch had been delivered to its new owners in Singapore several weeks ago, after it sailed from Port Kembla for the final time.

"The vessel was sold for ongoing trade and since the sale we have not been advised from the purchaser as to its whereabouts or future role," he said.

Source: Illawarra Mercury. By CHRIS PAVER. 25 May 2012
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/undignified-end-to-iron-monarch/2568364.aspx

Ship scrapping accelerates, but fails to offset tonnage in market

THE number of containerships sent for scrapping is surging with 69 vessels totalling 124,000 TEU broken up so far this year against 85,000 TEU in all of 2011, Alphaliner reports.

But the growth of the global box ship fleet remains high due to the large number of deliveries. Total deliveries of new ships have reached 621,000 TEU so far this year, compared to only 124,000 TEU scrapped.

Ship breakers are expected to be busy for the rest of the year, with low earnings and a weak outlook for older, less efficient ships driving more owners to dispose of such vessels. More than 200,000 TEU is expected to be scrapped this year, making this the second highest year of scrapping behind the record-breaking 379,000 TEU scrapped in 2009.

The average age of scrapped vessels, which averaged 28 years in the last decade, has dropped to 26 years as a number of younger ships are broken up.

Notably, the 1999 built Ocean Producer, formerly the Norasia Sultana, was sent for scrap this month and the 13 year-old ship set a new record for the youngest containership to be scrapped (excluding vessels damaged by accidents).

Containerships with operational deficiencies or facing costly repairs, including some units that are younger than 20 years, are becoming scrap candidates. Their owners could be tempted to profit from the relatively attractive scrap prices to dispose of them.

MSC has taken the lead in scrapping several of its oldest ships, with 15 vessels of between 900 and 3,000 TEU scrapped so far this year for a total capacity of 35,000 TEU. UASC has sent six of its 2,248-TEU 'A2' class ships, built in 1983 for demolition.

However, the capacity scrapped by these two companies pales in comparison to the new capacity that has been delivered. MSC has already received 13 new ships for 147,000 TEU this year while UASC has also received eight units of its A13 class ships of 13,100 TEU (rated at 13,500 TEU by UASC) since January this year.

Evergreen has scrapped its last two GX-class ships of 3,428 TEU (built in 1986-1988). Six of its chartered 2,868 TEU G-class ships that were built in 1984 have also been scrapped this year and two further ones are to follow. Evergreen is due to receive the five first units of its 35-strong 8,800 TEU L-class newbuildings (rated at 8,000 TEU by Evergreen) between July and October this year.

Source: Sea News. 23 may 2012
http://www.seanews.com.tr/article/TURSHIP/78075/Alphaliner-Containership/

SHIP AHOY!: WWII battleship makes final port on Beach

The last remaining ship of the Battle of the Atlantic - the longest continuous military campaign in World War II- made its way along Matanzas Pass off Fort Myers Beach and reached its final port on San Carlos Island last week.

The former USS Mohawk (WPG-78) is currently docked at Kelly Brothers Marine Construction off of Main Street and is waiting to be transformed for her final service as a veterans' memorial reef -just days before Memorial Day- in the Gulf of Mexico off of Sanibel. It departed Key West Monday afternoon for her two-day, farewell journey to this part of Southwest Florida and arrived at its current location shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The claim to fame of the former U.S. Coast Guard cutter was that it was the last ship to radio Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower that the weather was clearing for the D-Day invasion in 1944. That legacy is considered one of her most famous deeds.

"This ship is most likely one of the most historically significant pieces ever to be used for this purpose. We are very lucky," said Mike Campbell, the project coordinator and Lee County's Natural Resources senior environmental specialist. "It's all about honoring our veterans and providing a positive economic impact on our community."

The Miami Dade Historical Maritime Museum donated the 165-foot cutter to Lee County. PNL Towing out of Miami was the main towing vessel in front of the historic relic, while Kelly Brothers supplied the assist tug from behind.

Campbell said County officials were notified that the museum was looking at options to get rid of the historic vessel before it sank at its dock. The most sensible option was to donate it for an artificial reef, although breaking it down for salvageable parts would have netted close to a $250,000.

"The museum actually had plans to scrap the ship," he said. "It could not afford to fix it or keep the ship anymore. It's old, dilapidated and couldn't stay afloat anymore because it's rusting through the bottom.

"But, being a museum, it didn't want to just scrap this piece of national history. Doing the honorable thing was what they wanted. We were able to take them up on that offer."

A grant from the West Coast Inland Navigation District will cover the $1.3 million needed to prepare and sink the vessel.

"We are over-preparing on this, just to ensure that it will be environmentally safe," said Campbell. "We are actually cleaning all the PCBs that may be aboard as well as the wiring and the hydrocarbons and asbestos as needed. We are also outfitting it with four-ton trim, twin machine gun replicas. So, we are not stripping it down to bare bones."

The preparatory process will take one to 1-1/2 months. San Carlos Maritime Park, next door to Kelly Brothers, is also being used as a staging area.

"It's a commercial boat ramp that the county uses for derelict vessels and stuff like that," the project coordinator said. "After we get it clean and safe, it'll be towed out to the reef area."

Wrecks and man-made reefs are known to restock our waters with fish for the benefit of scuba divers and fisherman alike. More than a dozen artificial reefs lie within a 15-mile radius off Sanibel and Captiva, making these Florida barrier islands great for snorkeling and scuba diving.

"The man-made reefs contribute to the positive influences on the fish population," said Campbell.

The Mohawk's sinking is scheduled for July about 20 miles offshore. Divers and anglers will find her in 90 feet of water near Charlie's Reef, which was installed on July 1999, located 28 miles due west of Red Fish Pass.

Commander Mark Fedor, captain of the current Mohawk, called the plan, "an honorable continuation of the legacy of the Mohawk and the United States Coast Guard."

Commissioned in 1935, the USS Mohawk was assigned to the North Atlantic escort operations. She launched 14 attacks against submarine contacts between Aug. 27, 1942, and April 8, 1945.

A recent study by Florida Sea Grant and University of Florida researchers estimates that anglers and divers who use Lee County artificial reefs spend nearly $60 million annually.

"I'm really proud as a community we were able to take part in this just from honoring our veterans to the economic prospects of it," he said. "Every place that I am aware of using ships as artificial reefs have made a very significant impact on that community."

Campbell referenced the Vandenburg in Key West and ships sunk in the Pensacola area to value the increased economic revenue in those parts of Florida.

"They made a tremendous amount of money in business taxes and jobs. The Tourist Development Council of Pensacola loaned the project $1 million. They got their money back in three days off increased bed tax revenue," he said.

"It is a great honor. It's an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Lee County to be able to participate. This is the last ship of the Battle of the Atlantic, the last ship of what they call the famous class of ships."

Source: Fort Myers Beach Observer. By BOB PETCHER, rpetcher@breezenewspapers.com. 23 May 2012.
http://www.beach-bulletin.com/page/content.detail/id/520610/SHIP-AHOY---WWII-battleship-makes-final-port-on-Beach.html?nav=5051

22 May 2012

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh shipbreaking industry for WEEK 20 of 2012:

A reversal in not only capacity but also steel prices led to a mini crisis in the Bangladeshi market, with many candidates being proposed but very few end buyers open to absorb those vessels.

Indeed, any numbers that were forthcoming were anywhere between USD 30-40/LT LDT softer than the peaks seen just over a week ago. These falls appear to be almost entirely capacity driven and as such, we do expect prices rebound once some of the more reliable end buyers clear their yards and get back to the table in 2-3 months or so.

Notwithstanding, two market deals were concluded for the week with the panamax bulker FRANCESZCO (11,099 LDT) seeing USD 450/LT LDT and the Sinokor controlled ex OBO CENTRAL CARRIER (14,SS0 LDT) sold for region USD 425/LT LDT 'as is' Singapore with sufficient fuel for the voyage to Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the high-priced buying frenzy from a few weeks ago became increasingly evident via the number of vessels arriving local anchorage. Chittagong alone is taking in more than double the number and the amount of LDT being consumed by its subcontinent neighbors i e India and Pakistan.

Source: Steel Guru. 22 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/indian_news/GMS_weekly_report_on_Bangladesh_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_20_2012/264862.html

GMS weekly report on INDIAN shipbreaking industry for WEEK 20 of 2012:

Falling steel prices, a depreciating currency, capacity concerns and an impending monsoon season have all combined over the past few* weeks, to bring about a veritable sense of doom into the local Indian market.

Indeed, for the first week in quite some time, an absence of market sales was proof enough of a crisis that has shattered the confidence of cash buyers and end users alike.

Indeed, many deals concluded at high levels some time ago, are facing problems upon arrival at the shorefront. Payments and deliveries are being delayed and local recyclers are looking for any excuse with which to knock money off / renegotiate prices.

One high profile vessel - the converted suezmax to ore carrier ORIENTAL NICETY (ex EXXON VALDEZ) has been stuck outside for several weeks now with relevant permissions not vet in place for the vessel to clear inwards due to concerns regarding cleanliness / hazardous materials on board. Rumor has it, the end buyers of the vessel are trying to find a wav out of the deal themselves.

Meanwhile, many are beginning to speculate on whether the market has vet bottomed out with further calls for the government to step in to stabilize the battered currency. Certainly, a breather on new vessels arriving over the past few months has been welcome given the hectic nature of business there this year.

Source: Steel Guru. 22 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/indian_news/GMS_weekly_report_on_Indian_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_20_2012/264860.html

GMS weekly report on PAKISTAN shipbreaking industry for WEEK 20 of 2012:

Activity pre budget has ground to a virtual halt in the past few weeks with most end buvers eyeing June 1st announcement (i.e. budget) with eager interest as a potential increase in import taxes is expected vet again.

The most recent Indian crisis has also given Gadani end users a ready made excuse to revise levels down it is expected that once the buying resumes post budget, it will be on a similar pegging with the numbers being talked now by Indian buyers.

Despite capacity being breached in many of the yards, there may be one or two end buvers keen to take a tanker or two. With end users at a premium any bidding that does ensue will be very much on Buyer's price and terms.

Source: Steel Guru. 22 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/middle_east_news/GMS_weekly_report_on_Pakistan_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_20_2012/264902.html

GMS weekly report on CHINESE shipbreaking industry for WEEK 20 of 2012:

After a turbulent last few weeks, there were few signs of any stability returning to the Chinese market. Steel prices have come off significantly leaving prices softer overall by about USD 20-30/LT LDT.

Yet many end buyers were still reluctant to commit on new units (unless at rock bottom prices) with fears of further volatility still very much evident.

To that end there were no market sales to report and very few signs of any deals / sales in the pipeline - despite a vast number of candidates (many of which are positioned in the area) being proposed.

Source: Steel Guru. 22 May 2012
http://www.steelguru.com/chinese_news/GMS_weekly_report_on_Chinese_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_20/264920.html

Gallery: How Consta Concordia will be refloated for scrap in biggest-ever operation:


The “unprecedented” operation to refloat and remove the sunken Costa Concordia cruise ship will be the most ambitious effort of its kind ever attempted and will cost at least $300-million, it was disclosed Friday.

See a gallery of images detailing the operation to refloat the Costa Concordia
The operation is due to start in the next few days and is expected to take a year, with the ship to be towed to an Italian port and then dismantled for scrap.

“This is the largest ship removal by weight in history,” said Richard Habib, president of Titan Salvage, the American company that will raise the 1,000ft-long, 114,500-ton cruise liner.

“The magnitude of the job is unprecedented. But we feel confident that we can do it and do it safely, with the least disturbance to the environment and the economy of Giglio.”

The Concordia has been wedged on rocks and semi-submerged a few yards off the coast of Giglio, an island off Tuscany, ever since it ran aground on January 13. During the panic-stricken evacuation of its 4,200 passengers and crew, 32 people lost their lives.

Thirty bodies have been recovered but the remains of two people - an Indian and an Italian - are still missing and may be inside the wreck.

Its captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest and has been accused of sailing the ship too close to Giglio, smashing it into a rocky reef and tearing a huge gash in its hull. He faces charges of manslaughter and of deserting the ship well before the evacuation had been completed. The next court hearing in the case is set for July.

The scale of the ship’s removal is “gigantic”, said Silvio Bartolotti, the manager of Micoperi, an Italian marine contractor that will collaborate with Titan.

The plan for removing the wreck involves extracting the huge chunk of rock embedded in its side and patching up the torn hull. Engineers and divers will then construct a platform beneath the ship and fix steel compartments or “caissons” to the side of the liner that is out of the water.

Two cranes will pull the ship upright so that it rests on the submerged platform. The caissons will be filled with water to help the cranes lift the massive weight.

Once the vessel is upright, more chambers will be attached to the other side of the hull. All the caissons will then be filled with air, which will stabilise the ship in preparation for it being towed to a nearby port for demolition.

Captain Habib conceded that the operation entailed significant risks and said if it went wrong there was no “plan B”.

“There are two critical stages - to roll the vessel on to the platform and then to safely refloat it. We think our plan is going to work and that we will be successful,” he said.

Costa Cruises, the Italian owners of the cruise liner, said the operation, “the likes of which have never been attempted,” would cost at least $300? million.

Source: The Telegraph. By Nick Squires. 18 May 2012
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Gallery+Consta+Concordia+will+refloated+scrap+biggest+ever+operation/6645149/story.html
 

Costa Concordia - ready to float the boat:

Salvage experts plan to use water-filled cisterns to weigh down the above-sea side of the Costa Concordia that capsized off the Italian coast. It is part of an effort to turn the massive vessel upright so it can towed for demolition early next year. One official called the operation's magnitude "unprecedented".

The Costa Concordia, which was carrying 4200 people, struck a jagged reef the night of January 13 when it veered too close to the coast of tiny Giglio island. Gashed on one side, the ship began listing badly and came to rest on its side on the rocky seabed off the Tuscan shore. The accident killed 32 people.

Titan Salvage, a company based in Pompano Beach, Florida, won the bid to remove the Concordia's wreckage, which now lies in pristine waters.

Captain Richard Habib, Titan Salvage's managing director, said the goal is to "use brains, [and] not as much brawn" to remove the Concordia without having it slip into much deeper water. He said the biggest challenge in the operation is to roll the vessel upright on a platform and to safely float it away to a port yet to be selected by Italian officials.

"The magnitude of the job is something unprecedented," Habib said.

The plan involves constructing an underwater platform and attaching empty cisterns to the above-water side of the ship. Then the cisterns will be filled with water, and two cranes attached to the platform will pull the ship upright. Once upright, the ship will have cisterns attached to the other side. Then all the cisterns will be emptied of water before being filled with air to help the ship rise higher in the water and free itself of the seabed. Once it is properly afloat, the ship can be towed to a port for demolition.

Habib said the ship would weigh 45,000 tonnes without the filled cisterns. The goal is to have it upright by the start of winter and to start towing it early next year, he said.

Experts at the news conference said some holes in the ship will have to be repaired before towing to make sure the vessel can float. The gash caused by the collision with the reef is dozens of metres long, but several holes were also blasted into the wreckage so divers could swim in to search for bodies.

While nothing similar on such a scale has been tried before, Habib said, "we think our plan is going to work".

He declined to say if there was a "Plan B" if the strategy fails. The Italian captain of the Concordia is under house arrest while prosecutors investigate him for possible manslaughter and abandoning ship while the evacuation was still underway.

Prosecutors contend that the captain steered the ship dangerously close to the island in a publicity stunt, although the captain insists the reef didn't appear on navigational charts.

Source: NZ Herald. 20 May 2012
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10807060

18 May 2012

1 hurt as scrap ship catches fire in Keraniganj:

A scrap ship caught fire while being dismantled at a shipbreaking yard on the bank of the river Burigana in Keraniganj Wednesday morning, leaving one critically injured.

On information, four fire fighting units rushed to the spot and doused the fire after about three and a half hours of frantic efforts around 12:50pm.

Fire brigade sources said the fire originated inside the triple-decker vessel around 9:30am when workers were dismantling the ship at the ship-breaking yard at Kaliganj Oilghat.

Soon the blaze engulfed the second and third levels of the ship, the sources said.

A fire fighter, Abu Zahid, received burn injuries while trying to douse the fire. He was rushed to Mitford Hospital in critical condition.

Source: The Daily Star. 9 May 2012
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=37598

Gujarat wary, Alang-bound US ship of oil spill fame waits in sea:

The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) have for now decided against allowing the beaching of US vessel Oriental Nicety — formerly Exxon Valdez, the ship responsible for the Alaska oil spill of 1989 — at the Alang shipbreaking yard.

“We have not given permission for beaching, and neither has the GPCB. We will take a final decision in the coming few days,” said S C Mathur, GMB’s chief nautical officer.

The GPCB’s regional officer, A V Shah, said over phone from Bhavnagar that the decision to not recommend beaching permission was taken on Tuesday after a review of official papers and also taking into account the ongoing case in the Supreme Court as well as the upcoming monsoon season.

The vessel was earlier expected to beach at Alang for dismantling on May 9.

However, an NGO called Research and Science Foundation recently filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging the ship had entered Indian waters without being first decontaminated as per international conventions. The apex court had on Monday issued notices to the Ministry of Shipping and the Union Government, asking for information on steps taken.

In one of the world’s worst man-made disasters, the Exxon Valdez was grounded off the Alaskan coast in March 1989, spilling a massive amount of crude oil - the exact amount remains disputed but most studies peg it at not less than 2.5 lakh barrels of crude oil - that affected more than 1,700 kms of the coastline.

A senior Customs official in the Bhavnagar Commissionerate said the vessel had not been given beaching permission since they had not received the mandatory no-objection certificate (NOC) from the GMB.

The GPCB and Customs act as recommending agencies to the GMB, which looks after Alang shipbreaking yard. As per court orders passed in 2007, a negative recommendation from either the GPCB or the Customs as binding on the fate of in-bound vessels, officials said.

Oriental Nicety was bought by Bhavnagar-based Best Oasis Company to be dismantled at Asia’s biggest shipbreaking yard, and is currently parked at an undisclosed location offshore. An official said its Global Positioning System appears to have been switched off.

Source: The Indian Express. By ADAM HALLIDAY. 9 May 2012
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/gujarat-wary-alangbound-us-ship-of-oil-spill-fame-waits-in-sea/947169/

Iron Crows: Spare a Thought

Titled ”Iron Crows”, this 90 minute documentary examines the harsh conditions that workers in the Chittagong ship breaking yard in Bangladesh are subjected to. The average pay is US$2 a day and on average 20 workers die in the Chittagong yards every year while dismantling ships from all over the world.

The trailer is high-quality thus view the astounding scenes in full screen mode………………and spare a thought for the poor souls working there dismantling vessels that once serviced our requirements.

The YouTube link to the trailer is: http://youtu.be/n31OKLSO69k

Source: Maritime Security Review. By Mark Lowe.  26 August 2011
http://www.marsecreview.com/2011/08/spare-a-thought/