Sep 4, 2019
Ship-breaking or ship demolition is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for either a source of parts, which can be sold for reuse or for the extraction of raw materials, mainly scrap. Ship-breaking allows the materials from the ship, especially steel, to be recycled and made into new products. This lowers the demand for mined iron ore and reduces energy use in the steelmaking process. India, Bangladesh, China, and Pakistan have the highest market share and are global centers of ship-breaking, with Chittagong Ship Breaking Yard in Bangladesh, Alang in India, and Gadani in Pakistan being the largest ships’ graveyards in the world. The process starts with an auction for which the highest bidder wins the contract. The ship-breaker then acquires the vessel from the international broker who deals in outdated ships.
After completing the required document proceedings, ships are run ashore on gently sloping sand tidal beaches at high tide so that they can be accessed for disassembly. Then the process starts, it takes 50 laborers about three months to break down a normal-sized cargo vessel of about 40,000 tonnes. The decommissioning begins with the draining of fuel and firefighting liquid, which is sold to the trade. Any re-usable items—wiring, furniture, and machinery—are sent to local markets or the trade. Unwanted materials become inputs to their relevant waste streams.