Conviction of setting new standards in the field of green ship recycling in Gujarat under the guidance of the Prime Minister
Chief Minister inaugurates the International Seminar on Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrap Policy co-organized by Union Ministry of Shipping-Ports-Waterways-Gujarat Maritime Board-FICCI in Gandhinagar
Gandhinagar, Monday: While addressing International Seminar on Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrap Policy in Gandhinagar as the Chief Guest, Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel firmly stated that Gujarat has full potential to become a green ship recycling hub. He also added that Gujarat is set to build a new standard in the field of green ship recycling.
This two-day international seminar is being organized by the Ministry of Shipping, Ports-Waterways, Government of India, Gujarat Maritime Board and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI) at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of Shipping, Ports, Waterways, Government of India and Shri Jitu Vaghani, Minister of State for Education, Science and Technology, and representatives of various states of India including Norway and Denmark were present in this international seminar.
Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel said that Gujarat has the longest coastline of the country which is 1600 km. Also, Gujarat has a bright and long history in the maritime sector from ancient times to the present. Under the leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat has progressed towards port led development. He also added that more than 40 percent of the country’s cargo is handled from Gujarat’s ports. The Chief Minister also proudly mentioned that, in the year 21-22, 405 million metric tons of cargo has been transported from the non-major ports of Gujarat, which has 1 major and 48 non-major ports. He also said how Gujarat has been number one in the Leeds index for three years as a result of improved infrastructure and connectivity. Apart from this, Gujarat is also excelling in PM Gati Shakti Master Plan. The chief minister added that the ship recycling industry in Gujarat, which is the growth engine of the country, is getting full scope for development.
Chief Minister said that earlier, it was the time of ship breaking, now, is the time of ship-recycling and green ship recycling. He added that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has opened the doors of green ship recycling industry in the country by enacting the Ship Recycling Act-2019.
Shri Bhupendra Patel said that Gujarat’s Alang is dominant in the field of ship-breaking and recycling, undoubtedly Alang will become the leader in green ship recycling as well. Hazardous and non-hazardous wastes from ships can harm the environment, human health and marine life. He added that Gujarat Maritime Board is ready to play an important role in preventing such loss and for safe and sustainable ship recycling.
The Chief Minister said that under the guidance of the Prime Minister, the state government is determined to make Alang a high-level green ship recycling center. He said that the country has entered the Amrit Kaal of celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Chief Minister expressed confidence that this era will be the era of development of India’s ship recycling and vehicle scrapping industries and this international seminar will be a catalyst in it.
Union Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal
Union Shipping Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal addressing this Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrapping International Conference said that under the visionary leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has created a unique identity in the world, if all our countrymen make joint efforts as Team India, India will definitely become the best. Union Shipping Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal while congratulating Team Gujarat for organizing the Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrapping International Conference said that Gujarat is India’s gateway in the commercial sector with 1600 km of coastline and Gujarat is now one of the preferred maritime destinations of the world. It handles more than 40 percent of India’s cargo and is the first in India to privatize the port sector. Gujarat is well-connected with all major port-based trade routes and better road, rail and air connectivity to major trade centers of the world, thus offering vast international trade opportunities.
He said that due to its strategic geographical location on the west coast of India, proactive policies and initiatives and strong industrial and support infrastructure, Gujarat has emerged as the flag bearer of India’s maritime success story.
He added that the Sagarmala project is the flagship program of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. In the last seven years, the central government has taken several innovative initiatives under the Sagarmala project, which has helped to reduce the overall operational cost of the ports, reduce the turnaround time for vehicles, reduce the throughput of the ports to increase the capacity of the ports and increase the connectivity of the ports through infrastructure modernization to handle large vessels. As a result of measures such as the ability to do business, and the ability to develop the strategic importance of Indian ports in the South Asian region, the year 2021-22 has resulted in a record goods export of 400 billion dollars.
Under the Sagarmala project, Gujarat has further promoted the development of a rich maritime sector in which projects are being undertaken under various categories such as port modernization, rail, road, cruise tourism, ro-ro and passenger jetties, fisheries, coastal infrastructure, skill development, etc. In the state, Rs. 57,000 crore worth 74 projects are operational out of which 15 projects worth Rs. 9000 crores have been completed. Rs. 25,000 crore worth 33 projects are under implementation and Rs. 22,700 crore worth 26 projects are under progress at various stages.
He further said that, in order to realize the vision of Maritime India Vision 2030, Gujarat has started direct services between Ghogha-Hazira, as a result of which the distance between the east and west side has been reduced. Work has been approved for row pax facility between Khambhat-Pipavav and Dwarka which will result in fuel savings along with citizens’ time and provide excellent transport services while preserving the environment, he added.
He added that under the Sagarmala program, an exhibition of 5,000 years of maritime heritage will be constructed at the National Maritime Heritage Museum Complex, Lothal, to promote coastal tourism. He added that more seaplane services are also being implemented to connect iconic places in the state of Gujarat. He added that India is the best destination for ship breaking and recycling. Ship recycling operations in Gujarat have started since 1983 in Alang-Sosiya. Recycling of more than 200 ships per year on 153 plots on 10kms on the coastal seabed is done which produces 3.5 million tons of steel per year without harming natural resources. The ship recycling industry employs about 15,000 persons directly and about 1.5 lakh persons. With the proposed expansion plan to double the yard’s capacity, employment opportunities will also double, bringing more economic prosperity to the entire region.
He added that as a result of positive policies of the state government for the overall development of the shipping sector, a regional transshipment terminal could also be developed in Gujarat. Chabahar Port is an important example to showcase India’s maritime cooperation in the neighbourhood, he added. India’s private sector has demonstrated its potential in maritime infrastructure, which can be further leveraged by facilitating investment in this sector in other countries. Director General of Shipping Shri Amitabh Kumar said that if there is no shipping, half the world will freeze. The world needs ships to maintain global supply chains. Even in India, about 95 percent of business is done through shipping (vessels). Sea waves never tire, they are constantly hitting ships, and this means that these ships require constant round-the-clock monitoring and regular repairs, which is why it is essential that ships are assessed in time and their strength against sea waves is assessed. Periodic damage analysis should be carried out, as it is not safe to conduct future sea voyages in such ships without assessment of the damage caused to the ships making daily voyages.
He said that the International Maritime Organization, a specialized international regulatory agency of the United Nations, has developed multiple conventions to regulate ships that are environmentally sustainable from the construction stage to their destruction. India has a long history of strict implementation of IMO Conventions. It is no surprise that India became the largest ship recycling country to ratify the Hong Kong Convention on November 28, 2019 and enacted the Recycling of Ships Act on December 13, 2019. Ships falling under the exempted category under the Hong Kong Convention have also been brought under Indian law to ensure that these ships are safe and their recycling is environmentally friendly.
Establishing the regulatory framework of the Hong Kong Convention is a challenge in itself as it requires coordination among the country’s various regulatory agencies, he said. This challenge is compounded internationally by more prescriptive standards set by the European Union and restrictions imposed by the 2019 Basel Ban Amendment for non-OECD countries. India has taken a positive approach and adopted the EUSSR 1257 requirement in its national legislation to enable Indian ship recyclers to be listed under the EU’s list of approved ship recycling facilities. India has expressed keen interest in ship recycling of European-owned ships. At this juncture, we all need to take the lead to solve this problem, he added.
Additional Chief Secretary, Ports and Transport Department Shri M. K. Das gave a detailed presentation about the conference and said that Gujarat is the growth engine of India’s development. Gujarat’s GDP has been between 7.5 to 8.5 percent for the last ten years, which shows the overall development of the state. Gujarat is playing a very important role in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s dream of making India a five trillion-dollar economy. Gujarat is a leader in industrial development and exports. Gujarat has the longest coastline of 1600 km in India which is 21 percent of the entire country. He said that Gujarat has been doing sea trade with countries of the world for years. 84 talukas of Surat were connected with 84 countries of the world through sea trade. At present 48 small and 1 large port are functioning in Gujarat. Chhara and Jafrabad will be developed as greenfield ports in the future. The first independent Maritime Board was established in Gujarat in 1982 in India. Gujarat today has a chemical port, container port, and recycling port, while the first CNG port is also going to be built in the near future.
Shri Das said that in the year 1983, there were only 10 plots in Alang Ship Breaking Yard of Bhavnagar, while now 131 plots are functioning. Alang is currently carrying out ship breaking operations as per world class standards and considering the safety of environment. The Alang Ship Breaking Yard will be developed in two phases in the coming years, details of which were presented. A world-class green ship recycling and vehicle scrapping facility will be made available at Alang.
While Gujarat accounts for 30 percent of ship breaking in the world, organizing this Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrapping Conference will make Gujarat a hub in this sector, he added.
Smt. Geeta Gordia, Chairperson of FICCI Gujarat, while delivering the welcome speech, said that India is one of the five major ship recycling nations in the world. India is home to the largest ship-breaking facilities in the world. India scraps about 6.2 million gross tons of scrap per year along with 150 yards in a 10 km stretch – accounting for 33 per cent of the total scrap globally. India managed about five million gross tons in 2018, which is about a quarter of it.
The world’s ship recycling industry is largely concentrated in South Asia, Smt. Gordia said. India is a leading market for ship-recycling. It is pertinent to note here that the Alang-Sosiya Shipbreaking Yard in Gujarat has the capacity to handle more than 450 ships per year. With India now a signatory nation to the Hong Kong Convention, 114 yards out of 153 yards in Alang-Sosiya have become HKC compliant. The country is now ready to follow global standards for safe, green and environment-friendly ship recycling.
Global leading companies are now looking at India as one of the prime destinations for ship recycling. Yet further development here envisions a tremendous growth in the recycling industry. Also looking at the growth of business contributing significantly to the country’s GDP which is certainly considered an important future step towards creating a five trillion-dollar economy by 2025 and creating employment opportunities for the youth which is the vision of our honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
The secondary steel market is another positive beneficiary of the ship recycling industry, she said, adding that about 10 per cent of the country’s secondary steel requirements will now be met in an eco-friendly manner. This will further boost the re-rolling industry, which in turn will help the furniture business and other downstream industries. As a result, indirect employment will also be boosted and around 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh jobs will be created. She added that by 2024, India’s ship recycling capacity will increase to more than nine million gross tons. Several ship recycling yards have applied for inclusion on the EU list. These dynamic actions by Indian Yards will contribute to further strengthening India’s position as a market leader in the recycling industry.
She further added that the Voluntary Fleet Modernization Program launched by the Prime Minister on 13th August 2021 and choosing Gujarat as a model state for its implementation will move Gujarat towards becoming a vehicle scrapping hub. She expressed confidence that this conference would pave the way for Gujarat to become a leader in vehicle scrapping as well.
Shri Avantika Singh Aulakh, Secretary to the Chief Minister and Vice Chairman and CEO of Gujarat Maritime Board, while giving a vote of thanks, said that this two-day international conference on Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrapping will play an important role in realizing the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat.
In this conference, Education Minister Shri Jitu Vaghani, Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Shri K. Kailashanathan, Chief Secretary Shri Pankaj Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Rajesh kumar Sinha, Joint Secretary Shri Vikram Singh, embassy officials, entrepreneurs associated with shipbreaking, senior officials of various departments of Gujarat-Central Government, environmentalists were present.
Source: Information Department, Gujarat