INSUFFICIENT ship recycling capacity in the European Union has prompted BIMCO to call for more facilities outside the EU.

According to BIMCO’s Report on the European List of Ship Recycling Facilities, a list of approved ship recycling yards is growing, but new additions have not added enough capacity to meet the demands of the global shipping industry.

The report, now in its third edition, suggests the inclusion of non-European ship recycling facilities on the EU list has provided limited potential for large scale recycling.

“Today, there are still no facilities from the main recycling states such as India, Bangladesh or Pakistan included on the EU list to meet the demand for recycling of larger ships,” BIMCO secretary general and CEO David Loosley said.

“Many yards have made significant efforts toward upgrading their facilities. We believe focus on getting some of these facilities added to the list should be increased if they meet the standards of the Hong Kong Convention, which we believe should be ratified as soon as possible.”

The report suggests EU member state facilities typically provide either bespoke local solutions to a niche recycling market or are focussed on offshore decommissioning.

This means they are not dedicated to the recycling of large ocean-going ships and therefore do not have sufficient capacity.

This reportedly leaves Turkey as the only major ship recycling nation contributing significant capacity to the EU List.

The report also highlights that ship recycling within the overall strategy of the European Commission is becoming increasingly clear and important.

According to the EC, the “European New Green Deal” and the supporting circular economy are core elements of its attention and spending for the foreseeable future.  

“BIMCO agrees there is significant potential for the ship recycling industry to contribute to the circular economy, as it supplies large quantities of scrap metal to the steel and iron industries, thereby reducing the need to produce primary metals,” Mr Loosely said.

“A study commissioned by the World Bank in 2009 found that Bangladesh satisfied 50% of its steel needs from national ship recycling, to take an example.”

According to BIMCO, as the report was going to publication, a draft of the EU List testified to two ship recycling facilities in Turkey being removed from the list due to failings. 

“BIMCO is pleased to note that the EU audit system is working as intended in identifying failings in the auditable systems and react with punitive actions if needed,” the organisation said.