Three German Vessels Land on South Asian Breaking Beaches

German ship owner Norddeutsche Vermögen Holding GmbH & Co and its subsidiary Norddeutsche Reederei Schuldt, a company offering shares in ship funds, have seen another three of their vessels arriving at the beaches of South Asia in 2015, NGO Shipbreaking Platform said.

Namely, the vessels in question were the Northern Glance, renamed to APL Malaysia, which hit the beach of Chittagong, Bangladesh, the Northern Diversity and the infamous Northern Vitality, which were rammed up the beach in Alang, India.

NGO Shipbreaking Platform has been closely monitoring the last of the three ships, as “the vessel’s story is a prime example for Norddeutsche Vermögen’s circumvention of the law and the company’s lack of responsibility for end-of-life management.”

In September 2012, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform found that the owners of the Northern Vitality intended to sell the 1997-built ship for breaking in India with the help of a cash buyer. At the time, the vessel was moored in the German port of Wilhelmshaven, and the sale for scrap to India would have constituted a breach of the EU Waste Shipment Regulation that prohibits any export of hazardous waste to developing countries.

The Platform informed the authorities, and shortly after, the vessel was arrested in Wilhelmshaven and was only allowed to leave once Norddeutsche Vermögen produced proof that the Northern Vitality would be repaired in Varna, Bulgaria, for further operational use, and would not be sold to the breaking beaches of Alang.

At the same time in September 2012, two other ships owned by Norddeutsche Vermögen and its subsidiary Norddeutsche Reederei Schuldt were beached in Alang, namely the Northern Felicity, renamed to Felicity and reflagged under the typical end-of-life flag St. Kitts and Nevis just before beaching, and the Northern Dignity, which hit the beach of Alang renamed C Wind and flagged out to St. Kitts and Nevis.

Since 2012, Norddeutsche Vermögen and its subsidiaries Norddeutsche Reederei Schuldt and Reederei Karl Schluter have sold at least 16 vessels for beaching, the Platform said.

“It is shameful that Norddeutsche Vermögen, certainly aware of the controversial dismantling practices taking place in South Asia, has deliberately chosen to close its eyes to the realities on the ground,” the Platform said.

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform called upon Norddeutsche Vermögen and their private investors, to ensure the clean and safe recycling in line with the EU Ship Recycling Regulation in case any of the more than 40 vessels currently owned by the company has to be sold for demolition in the future.

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