NGO Shipbreaking Platform Calls for Responsible Recycling of Berge Stahl

Image Courtesy: Port of Rotterdam

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has called on the owner of the iron ore bulker Berge Stahl and the Dutch authorities to ensure the responsible recycling of the 30-year-old vessel.

Berge Stahl, owned by Singapore-based dry bulk owner Berge Bulk, has called at Rotterdam’s ore terminal 249 times over the last 25 years. It was for a long time the largest dry bulk vessel in the world and considered to be the Port of Rotterdam’s unofficial ‘flag ship’.

The iron ore bulker made its final visit at the Port of Rotterdam last week.

“Both the Port of Rotterdam and the Dutch authorities must have an interest in the responsible recycling of its ‘flag ship’ that made many in the port proud and regularly attracted fans. We call on Berge Bulk, a company so far known for irresponsible shipbreaking practices with fatal consequences to see this as an opportunity to review its scrapping practices and commit to responsible recycling,” Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said.

According to NGO Shipbreaking PlatformBerge Bulk has recently sold several of its end-of-life ships to substandard shipbreaking yards on the beaches of South Asia.

“At least two workers were killed and four more injured at Seiko Steel shipbreaking yard in Bangladesh earlier this year while the bulker company’s Berge Matterhorn was under demolition there,” the Platform informed.

Apart from the fatal and severe accidents at the yard that was cutting down the Berge Matterhorn in Bangladesh, the Berge Vik and the Berge Prosperity ended up on the beaches of Gadani, Pakistan, in May last year.

When the vessel arrived in Rotterdam, the Platform alerted the Dutch authorities to ensure that the ship, which becomes hazardous waste under European and international environmental law once there is an intent to sell it for scrap, will not be illegally exported to shipbreaking beaches of India, Pakistan or Bangladesh.

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