Industry leader in responsible ship dismantling
When Boskalis decommissions ships it is standard practice to see to it that they are dismantled both responsibly and safely. Even on the other side of the world. A hard surface, certification of the yard and the responsible disposal of the waste are preconditions. This puts us ahead of existing legislation and regulations. In 2013, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform recognized us as an industry leader in this field.
We operate worldwide. Sometimes the ships we are asked to dismantle are on the other side of the globe. We have a clear policy with regard to responsible ship dismantling which we implement in consultation with the North Sea Foundation, a member of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. When we decide the time has come for us to say goodbye to a ship our preferred option is to look for a yard in the region where the ship is located. Our ships are dismantled only at yards that comply with international legislation and regulations and with our own strict safety standards. The ships must also be dismantled on a hard surface or in dry dock to minimize the risk of pollution and environmental damage.
In 2013, the Para and the Mercurius, two non-self-propelling ships, were ready for dismantling. Both were on the west coast of Mexico. We have contact with yards on the east coast of Mexico that meet all the requirements, but there are still no yards of this kind on the Paciﬁc Coast. Fleet manager Arjan Schrijen tells the story: “To get the Para and the Mercurius round to the other side you would either have to tow them or use transport vessels to get them through the Panama Canal, which is very costly, and also generates extra carbon emissions.”
“In 2013 we found a yard on the west coast of Mexico that does not yet meet all of our standards but is prepared to invest with us in an upgrade. The yard, which belongs to a shipbuilder, has an excavated dock, so that ship dismantling of these relatively small vessels can take place on dry land. Our local environmental specialist has carried out an inspection and the yard has been audited by classiﬁcation society Germanischer Lloyd. We are prepared to invest in the yard, for example by sharing our knowledge and assisting and facilitating them in the process.”
“Boskalis will always ensure that inspections are carried out by our own people or with our supervision to ensure that our ships really are dismantled according to the terms of the contract. We believe this to be the best way from both an economic and an environmental point of view. We believe it is very important for the process to be both responsible and transparent,” explains Arjan Schrijen. “In addition to the usual Health & Safety appraisal, an independent body will monitor waste disposal, environmental issues and ship dismantling. When possible, we will recycle ship parts. We will overhaul the density meters from the Para and the Mercurius for use by our ﬂeet. Cast-iron components will be recycled at foundries in Europe in accordance with our assured recycling procedures.
“In consultation with the North Sea Foundation, we are making preparations with the yard for the dismantling of the Para and the Mercurius. This pilot project will show whether this yard can be used in the future for ships located on the Paciﬁc side.”Merijn Hougee of the North Sea Foundation: "Boskalis sets an example for the maritime sector by keeping ahead of the regulations for ship recycling. The management clearly places a strong emphasis on ‘people’ and ‘planet’ when selecting shipyards for dismantling. We appreciate the transparent communication and we look forward to an ongoing dialogue with the aim of further optimizing
We also dismantled our fallpipe vessel the Sandpiper in 2013. This was done in Turkey at a yard certiﬁed by ISRA (the International Ship Recycling Association). Once again, the guiding principles of the policy were applied clearly. Winches were used to pull the ship over the soft surface to the hard surface of a concrete dry dock, where the actual dismantling work took place. ISRA approved the method used, including the waste management. the recycling process from the environmental perspective."
Every ship we dismantle has an IHM (Inventory of Hazardous Materials). It is standard practice for the yard to issue an IHM for a new ship. We have our own qualiﬁed specialists who compile the IHM for older ships. A classiﬁcation society then approves and certiﬁes the IHM. This assured process sets us aside from other shipping companies. The IHM is a requirement under the 2009 Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. This legislation has still not been ofﬁcially adopted but Boskalis has been in compliance with it for years.
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