Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district – home to the world’s largest stretch of
ship-breaking facilities – beached 187 ships for recycling in FY21 compared to
202 ships in the previous year, as the ship dismantling activity was hit by the
Alang managed to get steady business despite the pandemic
“Alang managed to
get steady business despite the pandemic,” said Anand Hiremath, Head, Research
and Development and Lead Coordinator, Responsible Ship Recycling at Global
Marketing Systems, Inc, (GMS), the world’s biggest cash buyer of ships for
In the wake of the
pandemic, Alang was hit by an exodus of migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
Jharkhand and Odisha, who make up for some 80 per cent of the 20,000 workers
directly employed in the ship-breaking plots.
yards ground to a halt in the first five months of FY21, only to pick up pace
between October 2020 and January 2021.
While only four
ships were beached in April 2020 and five in May, 15 were beached in October,
19 in November, 28 in December, 26 in January, 12 in February and 10 in March.
The container ships were sold for scrapping in the beginning of the
year due to low freight rates
Ironically, of the
187 ships beached in FY21, 41 were container ships, accounting for 22 per cent
of the ships beached. The container ships were sold for scrapping in the
beginning of the year due to low freight rates. But, since June 2021, rates for
container shipping have soared on the back of an acute shortage of containers.
ships accounted for 7 per cent of the total ships beached in FY21, followed by
chemical tankers and vehicle carriers at 6 per cent each, while tugs made up
for 5 per cent.