Around 300 people gathered in Tokyo on 12 May to attend a ship recycling seminar held by ClassNK.

In addition to ClassNK representatives, top industry experts from Asia and Europe discussed the current challenges of ship recycling and what the industry can do to support safe and environmentally sound recycling practices.

Mr. Koichi Kato of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism opened the seminar with a keynote address: “I see a lot of attendees here today which shows high interest in ship recycling. The Japanese government attaches special importance to the early entry into force of the HKC as the global framework for safe and environmentally friendly ship recycling… We join hands with the industry around the world and will keep on working for HKC’s smooth implementation”.

Speakers during the first half of the seminar explored the current situation of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (HKC) and the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU Regulation) in Europe and Japan.

The second half of the seminar focused on the present state of ship recycling facilities (SRFs) in South Asia with presentations by key industry figures and a panel discussion.

Captain Simon Bennett, General Manager of Sustainable Development at The China Navigation Co. Pte. Ltd. / Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (Pte) Ltd pointed out the sustainability value of ship recycling.

“It takes 60% less energy to produce steel from sustainably recycling a ship compared to from iron ore. We strongly believe in sustainable ship recycling.”

Mr. Keiji Tomoda, Chairman of the Ship Recycling Committee of Japan Shipowners’ Association spoke on ClassNK’s issuance of HKC Statements of Convention (SoCs) to four SRFs in India: “Shipowners need sufficient recycling capacity in line with global safety and environmental standards. We went to India and witnessed how much improvement has been made. It was truly eye-opening for all of us. ClassNK’s certification is technical support for these yards that are making a real and sustained effort to operate in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.”

Mr. John Kornerup Bang, Head of Positioning & Strategic Risk Management, Group Sustainability at A.P. Møller – Mærsk Group also approached the topic from a shipowner’s perspective: “For too long too little has been done. We are very happy with ClassNK’s certification of these four yards in India. For us, that is the starting point. Shipowners have to send a strong signal that this is the only level the owners will accept and drive the incentive for other yards to upgrade.”

Mr. Henning Gramann, CEO, GSR Services GmbH suggested shipowners look closely at how different SRFs operate: “Shipowners’ sufficient inspection of recycling facilities with the involvement of knowledgeable experts will surely help in creating and expanding the green ship recycling market.”

ClassNK concluded how important it is for the industry to take a collective approach to better ship recycling, including the development and maintenance of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials as well as the increase of compliant SRFs.

ClassNK has been actively encouraging SRFs develop the necessary ship recycling facility plans and upgrade their facilities so that they can meet the requirements of the HKC. It has so far issued a total of nine HKC SoCs to SRFs in Japan, China and India, and is currently working in close collaboration with an additional eight SRFs in India to close the gaps identified by inspections so that they too can achieve full compliance with the HKC.