“K” Line to Test Ship-Scrapping System

“K” Line to Test Ship-Scrapping System

“K” Line plans to develop a new method for scrapping ships in Japan rather than in low-cost developing countries by testing the methodology on one of its old ships, the “New York Highway,” which completed its final voyage as a car carrier Tuesday upon arrival at the port of Muroran in Hokkaido.

“K” Line said it expects this experiment in scrapping the “New York Highway” will help develop a new ship-recycling system that is “environmentally friendly.” The company said it will share advanced technical information with other ship recycling industries worldwide.

When the Japanese Ship Owners’ Association asked its members to offer ships for the pilot project, “K” Line, a member of JSA, nominated the “New York Highway” and contracted the sale of the 25-year-old vessel to Teraoka Co., a member of Muroran Ship Recycling Study Group that was awarded the project by Maritime Bureau. The management of the group will be done by Japan Marine Science Inc. and Teraoka Co. with other members executing the project.

The experimental recycling system is a pilot project organized by the Maritime Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism in Japan.

The dismantling of old ships is usually performed in developing countries where labor cost is low and demand for scrap steel is strong. But critics argue that unsafe scrapping in developing countries causes pollution to the environment and labor accidents.

In May 2009, Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships 2009 was adopted by IMO aimed at protecting the environment and improving the safety of laborers in ship recycling facilities.

One of the most important requirements of the convention is keeping an inventory of hazardous and harmful materials on board, showing the exact location and quantity, with such inventory to be submitted to a ship recycling facility with all updated data once the ship is handed over to such a facility.

“K” Line said the “New York Highway” has maintained a proper inventory in compliance with the guidelines for the development of the inventory of hazardous materials. It said all of the ship recycling facilities it uses for ships it owns have ISO 14001 Certification and are evaluated as green yards by its own audit in accordance with its environmental policy.

Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com.