The company hopes to establish a ship recycling facility in the region, which he says would secure the country “a seat at the top table in any future global marine environment talks,” says KARE’s managing director, Bob Hawke, writes The National.
The company has drawn up plans and is seeking a deepwater site where it can build a facility capable of scrapping ships up to 12,000 tonnes.
The region has an existing demand for steel, Hawke says, pointing out that there are smelters in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. “They already consume a massive amount of scrap steel and are looking to expand their capacity. So it makes sense to have a supply of that scrap steel on your doorstep,” he says.
Currently, many ship recycling nations carry out their recycling on beaches, and the process causes extensive environmental pollution. The European Parliament’s environment committee recently voted to create a Europe-wide ship recycling fund, in response to the European Commission’s proposed rules to ensure that European ships are only recycled in facilities that are safe for workers and environmentally sound. Many European ships end up in substandard facilities on the tidal beaches of South Asia, facilities mostly lack the environmental protection and safety measures needed to manage the hazardous materials contained in end-of-life ships.
The KARE project would be fully compliant with pending environmental regulations and guidelines being drawn up by the European Union and the United Nations International Maritime Organization. Hawke says KARE would only set up green-recycling facilities where ships would be broken on dry land. “We are not interested in beaching. Any time you breach a hull in a tidal zone, whatever toxins are on the ship will be washed out. This is something the authorities here would not allow,” Hawke told the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
(Photo credit: NGO Shipbreaking Platform)