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Chittagong Ship Breaking Yards to Be Classified As ‘Orange’
Chittagong Ship Breaking Yards
Dr.G.R.Balakrishnan 23-05-2023 Shipping News

Chittagong Ship Breaking Yards to Be Classified As ‘Orange’

The Ministry of Industries has issued directives to re-categorise the country’s shipbreaking industry as less hazardous “Orange-B” from “Red” in order to continue investing in this industry, and upon assurance of environmental protection by the shipbreakers.

In a letter on 15 May, signed by Industries Ministry Deputy Secretary MdMominur Rashid, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has been asked to take necessary steps to ensure “Orange-B” environmental status for the shipyards in Chattogram.

Earlier, in April this year, the shipbreaking industry was classified as “Red” in the Environment Protection Regulations 2023, raising concern among shipbreakers.

“After classifying the shipbreaking industry as highly hazardous “Red”, we have tried to get out of this status in many ways. The initiative taken by the Shipping Ministry is positive for the interest of the country and business,” said Bangladesh Shipbreakers and Recyclers Association President Abu Taher, mentioning that this industry has had a huge negative impact after it was last classified as “Red” this year. ​

The shipbreaking industry in Chattogram has almost come to a standstill due to the impact of the Covid pandemic, the dollar crisis and LC complications. However, imports increased slightly in the first four months of this year compared to the last six months of 2022, said businessmen.

In the first six months of the current financial year, 432,193 tonnes of scrap ships were imported, and in the latter four months [January-April], 443,367 tonnes were imported.

Due to the complications after the “Red” categorisation of shipyards, there is delay in approval of clearance even after scrap ships are imported and brought to the yard. The new environmental law imposes a requirement to obtain a 2nd round clearance from the director general of the Department of Environment for each ship before being dismantled. As a result, shipyard owners have to waste time, count loss and face harassment.

The shipbreaking industry in Chattogram was first categorised as “Orange-B” in 1997. In 2007, it was brought to the “Red” category, and in 2020, it was reclassified as “Orange-B”.