Tokyo-based classification society ClassNK has issued a Statement of Compliance (SoC) to PHP Ship Breaking and Recycling Industries Limited (PHP), a ship recycling facility in Chittagong, Bangladesh, verifying that the facility is in line with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.
While ClassNK has so far issued 34 Statements of Compliance to ship recycling facilities around the globe, this is the first one issued by the society to a facility in Bangladesh.
The statement was issued upon review of the Ship Recycling Facility Plan (SRFP) developed by PHP and on-site inspections to confirm that its ship recycling process follows the plan.
“Upon completion of purely technical verifications, ClassNK has issued this HKC statement of compliance to the facility in Bangladesh. Acknowledging the efforts of the nation and its individual facilities and partners toward the ratification of HKC, I hope this step further will encourage safer and greener ship recycling practices following the HKC standard.
“As well as other ship recycling facilities with our SoCs, ClassNK will continue monitoring compliance by PHP through periodical audits,” Junichi Hirata, ClassNK General Manager of Innovation and Sustainability Department, said.
Ship recycling facilities in South Asia still account for the breaking of the majority of ships worldwide, despite mounting pressure for the dismantling of ships to be carried out in an environmentally sound and safe manner.
Data from the NGO Shipbreaking Platform for the third quarter of 2019, shows that out of a total of 122 ships that were broken, 73 ships were sold to the beaches of South Asia, including Bangladesh.
The breaking yards in the region are notorious for their poor working conditions, which very often results in worker injuries and even deaths.
Between July and September 2019, eleven workers lost their lives and twenty were severely injured when breaking ships in Bangladesh and India, according to the report.
In Bangladesh, seven workers died in four separate incidents. Following one of the accidents, the country’s government imposed a three-month ban on the import of end-of-life vessels on the yard, and has demanded that safety measures are taken.
The Platform added that the circumstances of two additional fatalities at the yards in Bangladesh this quarter still remain unclear.