Home Special Reports Ship breaking is an important source of steel

Ship breaking is an important source of steel

592
0

 Ismat Sabir

Worldwide center of the ship breaking and recycling industry is in South Asia, especially in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. These three states account for 70 to 80 percent of the global recycling market for ocean going vessels, with China and Turkey covering most of the remaining market. Only about 5 percent of worldwide volume is scrapped outside five states. Different sources mentioned that the situations at the ship breaking yards in Pakistan are dire. As in Bangladesh and India, the yards in Gadani operate directly on the beach without any impermeable and drained working areas to protect the sea and sand from pollution. Gadani ship breaking yard is the world’s third largest ship breaking yard. The yard consists of 132 ship breaking plots placed across a 10 km long beach front at Gadani.
In the 1980s, Gadani was the largest ship breaking yard in the world, with more than 30,000 direct employees. However, competition from newer facilities in Alang, India, Chittagong, Bangladesh, resulted in an important reduction in output, with Gadani presently is now producing less than one fifth of the scrap it produced in the 1980s. The recent reduction in taxes on scrap metal has led to a modest resurgence of output at Gadani, which now employs almost 6,000 workers. Greater than 1 million ton of steel is salvaged per year, and much of it is sold locally.
European Commission for Asian ship breaking industry to ensure compliance with its criterion by 2019.Ship breaking players to profit due to pressure on ship breaking industry increasing woes for the global ship breaking industry is a cause of concern for most, but one party has emerged as a creaking ear winner the Indian ship breaking industry. With the revival of steel demand and increasing supply of shipping vessels for scrapping, the ship breaking companies in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are likely to profit.
Ship Breaking: A Hazardous Work
In 2009, the Bangladeshi court gave a judgment that all ships coming to the yard should be pre cleaned of all the debris onboard. Since 2012, the ship breaking industry is being regulated by the Bangladesh Ministry of Industry.
About 14 workers have already died this year and still working without safety equipment in most International Maritime Organization (IMO) and UN Environmental Program has initiated laws like the apart from Bangladesh, countries like India, Pakistan, and China also process ship scrap, but Beijing is now looking to stop further activities in ship recycling in accordance with its new environmental protection laws. China currently breaks down around 2.5 million ton of shipping scrap every year, and it leaving the market would put additional pressure on the Indian subcontinent.
The 2020 IMO sulfur cap regulation would render many ships unusable, and this could lead to a lot more vessels making their way to the recycling yard. The only sensible way forward would be for shipping lines to strictly meet regulations and make sure the community that services scrap does not end up suffering because of it.
Gadani Ship Breaking Yard
Gadani ship breaking yard is the world’s third largest ship breaking yard. The yard consists of 132 ship breaking plots located across a 10 km long beach front at Gadani, Pakistan, about 50 kilometres northwest of Karachi. In the 1980s, Gadani was the largest ship breaking yard in the world, with more than 30,000 direct employees. However, competition from newer facilities in Alang, Indiaand Chittagong, Bangladesh resulted in a significant reduction in output, with Gadani today producing less than one fifth of the scrap it produced in the 1980s. The recent reduction in taxes on scrap metal has led to a modest resurgence of output at Gadani, which now employs around 6,000 workers.
More than one million ton of steel is salvaged per year, and much of it is sold domestically. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, a record 107 ships, with a combined light displacement tonnage (LDT) of 852,022 ton, were broken at Gadani, whereas in the 2008-09 fiscal years, 86 ships, with a combined LDT of 778,598 ton, were turned into scrap.
Gadani currently has an annual capacity of breaking up to 125 ships of all sizes, including supertankers, with a combined LDT of 1,000,000 ton. Although Gadani ranks as the world’s third largest ship breaking yard after Alang and Chittagong in terms of volume, it is the world’s leading ship breaking yard in terms of efficiency. At Gadani, a ship with 5,000 LDT is broken within 30 to 45 days, whereas in India and Bangladesh it takes, on average, more than six months to break a vessel of the same size.
History
Informal ship breaking operations occurred along the Gadani coastline prior to Pakistan’s independence in 1947. After independence, a group of entrepreneurs made serious efforts to develop this casual trade into a regular industry. Despite their efforts, Gadani beach at that time lacked necessary infrastructure facilities including roads, utilities or accommodation or medical services for workers of parts which can be sold for re use, or for the extraction of raw materials, chiefly scrap. Modern ships have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years before corrosion. This lowers the demand for mined iron ore.
In 2012, roughly 1,250 ocean ships were broken down, and their average age was 26 years. In 2013, the world total of demolished ships amounted to 29,052,000 ton, 92pc of which were demolished in India, Bangladesh, China and Pakistan have the highest market share and are global Centre’s of ship breaking, with Chittagong Alang in India and Gadani in Pakistan being the largest ships’ graveyards in the world. The largest sources of ships are states of China, Greece and Germany respectively, although there is a greater variation in the source of carriers versus their disposal. The ship breaking yards of India, Bangladesh, China and Pakistan employ 225,000 workers and providing a large number of indirect jobs. In Bangladesh, the recycled steel covers 20pc of the country’s needs and in India it is almost 10pc.
Developing Countries
In developing countries, chiefly the Indian subcontinent, ships are run ashore on gently sloping sand tidal beaches at high tide so that they can be accessed for disassembly. The sizeable ship breaking industry of Bangladesh traces its origin to a ship beached there accidentally during a cyclone.
Developed Countries
Vessels are initially taken to a dry dock or a pier, although a dry dock is considered more environmentally friendly because all spillage is contained and can easily be cleaned up. Floating is, however, cheaper than a dry dock. The carrier is then secured to ensure its stability. Many hazardous wastes can be recycled into new products. Examples include lead acid batteries or electronic circuit boards. Another commonly used treatment is cemented based solidification and stabilization. Child labor is also widespread: 20pc of Bangladesh’s ship breaking workforce are below 15 years of age, mainly involving in cutting with gas torches.
Environmental Risks
In recent years, ship breaking has become an issue of environmental concern beyond the health of the yard workers. Many ship breaking yards operate in developing nations with lax or no environmental law, enabling large quantities of highly toxic materials to escape into the general environment and causing serious health problems among ship breakers, the local population, and wildlife. Environmental campaign groups such as Greenpeace have made the issue a high priority for their activities. The Chinese recycling businesses are less damaging than their South Asian.
The following are some of world’s largest ship breaking yards:
Bangladesh: Chittagong Ship Breaking yard
Belgium: Galloo, Ghent, formerly Van Heyghen Recycling
China: Changjiang Ship breaking yard, located in Jiangxi, China
India: Alang Sosiya Ship Breaking Yard, Steel Industrials Kerala Limited
Pakistan: Gadani Ship Breaking yard
Turkey: Alia?a Ship Breaking Yard
United Kingdom: Able UK, Graythorpe Dock, Teesside
USA: Esco Marine, Brownsville, Texas, International Shipbreaking, Brownsvil,
Ship Breaking Industry on Decline in Pakistan
Labor Rights Exploitation
The ship breaking industry in Gadani, Balochitan has been declining due to labour rights exploitation by the employers, non-implementation on the internationally accepted labor standards and the criminal negligence of the government and its authorities, Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary National Trade Union Federation, said.
Thousands of workers, directly associated with the industry, have been working in inhumane conditions, without any safety, and as a result, they are receiving injuries for life and deaths too in accidents at workplace every other day. The overall situation implies that casualties. None of them has been prosecuted and they continue to run their illegal and criminal operations scot-free.
Bashir Mehmoodani, president of the Ship Breaking Workers Union Gadani, said that one and a half year on to the oil tanker tragedy in Gadani, caused on November 1, 2016, in which 29 workers were killed and several were injured yet the employers and government have not learned any lessons. He added that the employers. Government and the concerned authorities have turned deaf ear to the workers’ rights, their health and safety due to which deadly accidents have been occurring on a nearly daily basis, and many of them go unreported.
Mansoor said that the ship breaking industry earns billions of rupees to the federal and provincial governments, employs thousands of workers directly and indirectly and caters up to 30percent the country’s iron needs. Because of the governments’ negligence, the industry is deteriorating the results of which are devastating. Due to a slower pace and hazardous nature of work, a lot of iron is being imported in the country, thus causing heavy loss to the national exchequer.
He added that the downstream industries, especially over 200 re-rolling mills, other linked businesses, and over two million people employed there have been going through a crisis under uncertainty about their future. He said that the similar industries across the world have considerably changed after implementing labor rights and their standards under the internationally accepted conventions. He cited the example of ship breaking industry in Alang, India where their government having directions from the countries Supreme Court has started implementing a ship breaking code; as a result the accidents and the casualties there have reduced to a considerable extent.
ship breaking law drafted, passed through the assembly and enacted be done, the real union of workers must be recognized legally and constitutionally and be put into the consultations, access to ambulance, dispensary and safe drinking water should be given to workers in each of the ship breaking yards and a hospital be built in Gadani, a labor colony with all basic necessities, education and health facilities and proper communication network be built in Gadani.
According to statistics released by environmental advocate, nongovernmental agency Ship breaking Platform, South Asian yards now offer about $450 per light displacement tonnage, or LDT, while Chinese yards offer only $210 and Turkish yards slightly better at $280 per LDT. It is also showed that a large container ship weighs in at almost 25,000 LDTs. That translates into $11.25 million in India, but only $7 million in Turkey and $5.25 million in China.
Furthermore, Shipbreaking Platform releases a yearly survey on the industry. During 2017, the organization recorded, the industry internationally scrapped 835 ships, which totaled 20.7 million gross ton. That’s a substantial fall from 2016, when 27.4 million ton was scrapped. The number of scrapped ships has declined by greater than 30 percent from the boom days of 2012 to 2013. According to Mulinaris’s research, during 2017, saw the demolition of 170 bulk carriers, 180 general cargo ships, 140 containers, 140 tankers, 20 vehicle carriers, 14 passenger ships and 30 to 40 oil and gas related units, which include platforms and drill ships.
The research also mentioned that most decline into the category of small and medium-sized ships, ranging from less than 500 gross ton to 25,000 gross ton. Another study which was compiled by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the agency has forecast the acceleration of global ship breaking, notably oil tankers and container ships, from now on, but particularly from 2020 until 2023. This reflects the scrapping of ships built during the latter half of the 1990s, with a useful life of 26 or 27 years. It is also mentioned that India is the clear leader in number of ships recycled, although Bangladesh led the pack in terms of gross tonnage, perhaps a better gauge of revenue.
The statistics showed that Pakistan was third in terms of gross tonnage, although Turkey broke more ships. The EU, by contrast, accounted for about 0.3 percent of gross tonnage. Pakistan announced in 1978 a number of measures including the declaration of Gadani as a port, a reduction in import duties on ships designated for breaking-up, and a government task force to address infrastructure and logistics issues.
Shutting Down Ship Breaking Industry Causes Huge Losses to Economy
The shutdown of ship breaking industry at Gaddani beach after the fire incident in which 26 persons lost their lives on Nov.1 need an immediate solution to avoid huge losses to the economy besides rendering joblessness to thousands of workers. The incident, besides imposing Section 144 at the Gaddani ship breaking yards, putting an end to all ship breaking activities.
A shortfall of some 0.1 million ton of raw material in the steel industry had been created due to the industry’s closure. All those ships that had arrived at Gaddani beach for breaking and had paid all government dues under the Pakistan government rules and had obtained permission from all relevant government departments, are also affected by the closure of the industry.
The Pakistan Ship Breakers Association (PSBA) has appealed to the Prime Minister to revive Pakistan’s ship breaking industry. It was closed down in wake of the unfortunate fire incident that occurred at the Gaddani Ship Breaking Yard on Nov 1, 2016 in which 26 persons lost their lives in addition to many persons being injured. Addressing a Press Conference, the Pakistan Ship Breakers Association said that while the enquiry committee that had been constituted must act as per the law of the land, the whole industry and inter-linked industries should not be affected.
The PSBA appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as well as the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Sanaullah Zehri, that they should take personal interest in the matter and issue orders to revive the industry. Since the ship breaking industry contributes some 12 billion rupees in taxes on an annual basis, this closure is causing a huge loss to both the federal and Balochistan governments. In addition, the closing down of the industry has rendered thousands of laborers jobless and the supply of steel to the rerolling mills and other allied industries has stopped.
The Dark Side of the Ship Breaking Industry
It is assumed with the evolution of international human rights norms that human beings have become more civilized and slavery has ceased to exist. However, how true is this narrative in the case of fundamental rights provided to unfortunate, downtrodden and destitute ship breakers who earn less than £4 a day. Their labor contributes billions to the economies of their states but their work is unfortunately unknown.
The right to health which is laid down in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is equally ignored by these states. Everyone has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” This article is not just confined to health care rather embraces a wide range of socio-economic factors that promote conditions in which people can lead a healthy life. Ironically this covenant is also ratified by all these three major ship recycling states.
Kenneth Waltz for example argues that ‘states join human rights treaties because they are induced into doing so by more powerful nations those that receive the largest inducements will be those most likely to join. It seems accurate in case of the South Asian states because it is not their genuine commitment to the ideas these human rights treaties embody
Every year, these states lose hundreds of ship breakers and they know that these deaths are preventable. But their lives hardly matter for the states. Ship breakers are killed or maimed due to unsafe methods and procedures utilized to break end-of-life ships on tidal beaches. Sadly, recycling states remain numb to the crises- because shipbreaking is a matter of higher profits and lowest costs.
High Risk Job
Breaking ships has never been considered an easy task; it has always been considered a high-nisk job. The work is extremely dangerous and deaths often occur in addition to the chronic acute health issues encountered by the laborers. Workers are often exposed to deadly toxins, falling steel plates and exploding gases. On November 1, 2016 a fire broke out on a ship which was being dismantled at Gadani which claimed 28 lives. One of the reasons of the blast was that the workers were forced to start the dismantling process even before the fuel tank could be cleaned of the remaining highly inflammable oil and its fumes. Unfortunately, even after such incidents, no efforts are made either by the state or yard owners to improve the method of dismantling.
A very common phenomenon is that workers are not even provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) i.e. helmets, safety shoes or goggles which are
Moreover, workers are not provided respiratory protection for protection from the toxic fumes and dusts. They are not provided climbing gears while many in Bangladesh go barefoot. Poor workers are unable to demand better conditions out of fear of losing their only source of income. The lack of safety standards jeopardizes workers’ lives.
98km of the workforce in shipbreaking yards is illiterate; therefore, a contractor doesn’t consider it important to have a formal contract between employer and employee. In case of any incident, there is no appropriate way of tracking a worker’s identification as neither are they issued IDs or employment letters, it is very difficult to confirm if somebody really works in the shipbreaking yard.
As far as wages are concerned, they depend on the type of work or skill level. Shockingly, they have no entitlement to overtime, sick or annual leave. Neither do they receive any medical facilities from the ship yard owners.
Another drawback of shipbreaking is that- beaches are not directly accessible to firefighters or medical teams in the event of an accident. Between the lack of basic safety precautions, training, and emergency response equipment, countless casualties occur every year many going unreported. Disabled or injured workers do not receive any support to find a new source of livelihood, and their families are often cast back into crippling poverty. Even if workers survive physically unharmed, they often suffer from fatal occupational diseases like asbestosis or cancer due to regularly being exposed to toxins.
According to a 2010 World Bank Report on the shipbreaking and recycling industry, although the industry is beneficial from a life cycle assessment point of view, over the years it has gravitated toward countries with low labor costs, weak regulations on occupational safety, and limited environmental enforcement. The global shift in the industry to countries with comparatively weaker regulatory systems is of particular concern as ships contain many hazards that can have significant detrimental effects on humans and the environment if not dealt with properly.”
Hub of Ship Breaking: South Asia
The aim of callous ship owners is to get rid of their obsolete ships in a profitable manner. They maximize their profits by selling it to a broker who in turn sells it to substandard shipbreaking yards in countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. If they choose clean and safe recycling of ships it means greater costs. The modern ship recycling facilities of Europe and North America not only enforce health and safety provisions but also strict environmental rules which are quite expensive. Thus, very few ship owners deliberately choose to sell to modern ship recycling yards where they have to pay more and bear greater responsibility in the recycling process which is waived in case of South Asian states.
These retired vessels are broken by hand on the shores of South Asia. Majority of ships in the world’s large ocean going commercial fleet have been dismantled on beaches of Bangladesh (Chittagong), India (Alang) and Pakistan (Gadani). Shipbreaking in South Asian countries is subject to less control and scrutiny and labor laws may not be enforced or cover these activities. Work place safety has remained a low priority across South Asian states.
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh specifically have become the ideal dumping ground for most ship owners seeking to make the highest possible profits. According to NGO Shipbreaking Platform in 2017, 543 ocean going commercial vessels were broken down by hand in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
Beaching Method
The most common method of dismantling ships is known as beaching, which involves deliberately breaking the ship onto the beach so that it can be dismantled during low tide. This method not just poses risk to human health and safety; it poses risk to the environment as well. This process is outlawed in the European Union (EU) and other developed nations.
Ships contains thousands of ton of hazardous materials, such as lead, asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), plastic waste, oil residues, and heavy metals. These hazardous materials pose a danger to the workers and to the surrounding ecosystems and communities. In South Asia, shipbreaking occurs primarily in the intertidal zone of beaches and mudflats here, there is no possibility for proper waste containment, disposal, or sediment dredging. In fact, it is standard practice in shipbreaking countries to either resell the large amounts of hazardous waste from obsolete vessels in local markets or dump it in unmarked areas.
Shipbreaking has increasingly established itself as a cause for great environmental concern. The shipbreaking industry degrades both coastal and marine ecosystems. Millions of ton of hazardous waste has already been imported to South Asian countries because of the shipbreaking industry. Chemical pollutants, toxic leakages, debris and paint chips from end of life ships are absorbed by coastal sediments or else washed away by the tides. In addition to inflicting devastation to the health of local ecosystems, communities and economies this pollution poses a major threat to the greater ocean systems.
Due to unacceptable working conditions of the workers and causing constant damage to the local marine environment, ship recycling industry is often criticized. To address these concerns, conventions such as, Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines on ship recycling exist but are considered inadequate to address the issues of human safety and environment.
Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships
Therefore, in May 2009, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships to address the growing concerns about the environmental, occupational health and safety risks related to ship recycling. Yet it has not entered into force. The treaty’s approach is comprehensive as it includes ship recycling yards, human safety and environmental protection but some major drawbacks discussed below raise question whether it will be able to achieve more than the procedural objectives.
1. The Hong Kong convention (hkc) does not ban the beaching method of dismantling the ships which is the most dangerous method. From the viewpoint of workers and the coastal environment, ban on dismantling activities on beaches is must. Not to ban beaching because bulk three quarters of the world’s recycling relies on the beaching method shows weak commitment to the idea of safety and clean environment.
2. The hkc does not mandate pre-cleaning of all hazardous material before arriving at the recycling states. Moreover, hkc does not address the fate of hazardous materials recovered from the ship during recycling. Thus this approach undermines the concept of the environmentally sound ship recycling.
3. The convention is not applicable to war-ships, naval vessels and government owned non- commercial ships whereas war-ships make up the bulk of vessels.
4. The convention is profoundly dependent on procedures such as getting certificates, surveys and inspections etc. such procedures include documentation of authorization of ship recycling, it means that the hkc aims to deal the critical problems associated with the ship recycling by such written procedures and documentation rather than by practical prohibitions and specific methods.
5. The convention, however does not apportion any responsibility of cleanup to the owner. For instance, who will be held responsible in case of explosion after the tanker has entered recycling facility.
6. Another apparent shortfall of the hkc is the failure to criminalize illegal traffic. The hkc only requires that violations be prohibited and sanctions established for such violations.
Shipbreaking is modern slavery. It can only be abolished if recycling states intend to do so otherwise laborers of south Asian states will continue to be exploited in the future. South Asian states have failed to adhere to international human rights law hkc can be considered as a step towards right direction but mission related to environmental, occupational health and safety risks related to ship recycling remains unaccomplished. Environmental groups, in general, view it as a weak and inadequate response to the problem of such a great stature and one of the groups has even called it as legal shipwreck. the time has come to adopt coherent convention or to amend the existing laws to make it clear that safety must include credible, effective law enforcement efforts. An endeavor of potent magnitude is required for a seismic shift in our safety culture.
Way Forward
o A rational approach would assume that shipbreaking instead of taking place directly on the beaches; there should be proper industrial platforms so that full containment of pollutants and the adequate management of hazardous wastes are possible.
o Dry dock method of recycling should be preferred as it is considered to be safe for workers and the risk of spillage and pollution is minimal because the locations are sheltered. Western European countries and United States practice this method for ship recycling.
o The hkc has not yet entered into force due to a very slow ratification process therefore in the mean while all ship owners must adhere to a voluntary code of conduct, a ship recycling policy, and to make sure they do not sell their vessels for breaking in substandard yards.
o The workers should not be deprived of their fundamental rights, such as; strict enforcement of labor laws, right to social security, eobi pension and to make unions.
o Workplace safety must be fully ensured.
o The success of hkc highly depends on the ratification of the south Asian states. India is close to ratification which is a positive indicator whereas Pakistan and Bangladesh are far away from ratification. Therefore, appropriate support mechanisms should be provided by the convention to upgrade their facilities, it is unlikely that these states would be enthusiastic to ratify the convention.
Shipping’s Financiers Turning the Tide on Shipbreaking Practices
The shipping industry has long been criticized by campaigners for allowing vessels to be broken up on beaches, endangering workers and polluting the sea and sand.
Now, it is being called to account from a quarter that may have a bit more clout its financial backers.
Norway´s $1 trillion Oil Fund, a leader in ethical investing, in February sold its stake in four firms because they scrap on the beach.
Three of the firms excluded by Norway´s fund – Taiwan´s Evergreen Marine, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) of Thailand – say they have been unfairly singled out. The fourth, Korea Line, declined to comment.
Norwegian life insurer KLP soon followed, selling shares in the one of the four it owned and blacklisting the other three. Further exclusions are likely, said KLP, the fund and its advisory Council on Ethics.
The council´s chief adviser, Aslak Skancke, said the divestments had already effected wider change, including encouraging companies to seek cleaner scrapping.
The fund contacted several firms in its portfolio during its investigation, Skancke said, and when we made them aware of the possibility of exclusion from the fund, they decided to change their policy. He declined to name the companies.
Three leading pension’s funds Caisse de Depot, CCP and OMERS are reviewing their investments in shipping over ethical and green considerations, a finance source familiar with the matter said. OMERS declined to comment. Caisse de Depot and CCP did not respond to requests for comment.
The steps add to momentum on the issue from European Union regulators and courts, in particular pressure to measure up to standards for inclusion on the EU´s list of approved ship-breaking yards, which is due to be updated later this year.
It´s a revolution that has been a long time coming, environmental, labor and human rights activists say. But a transition won´t be easy, for owners or breakers. More than 80 percent of ageing commercial ships is broken up on the beaches of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.
Industry leaders in South Asia say they cannot afford to upgrade their sites and remain competitive. And not all beaching is the same.
In its most criticized forms, workers cut up ships with little more than their hands and blowtorches, with parts and pollutants dropping directly onto the sand. Other sites have cranes, impermeable surfaces and safety standards for workers and equipment.
No one has ever really been able to come up with a reasonable definition of beaching, said John Stawpert, manager for environment and trade at the International Chamber of Shipping, which represents most of the world´s merchant fleet. If there was to be a blanket ban on ´beaching´ there would be a very, very serious capacity problem because there is nowhere else big enough to deal with it at the moment, he said.
Beaching in South Asia also pays more, an important consideration as the shipping industry emerges from a decade in the doldrums due to over ordering of ships and slowing global trade, 90 percent of which is transported by sea.
Financial sources estimate shipping companies face a $30 billion funding gap in 2018, because even though the business is recovering, they are still not getting enough money from banks who are constrained by stricter capital requirements.
Commerzbank has said it will exit shipping financing and invest its capital elsewhere; others, such as Deutsche Bank, say they aim to cut their exposure to the sector.
Leading Dutch shipping finance houses ABN AMRO and ING, Sweden´s Nordea, Norway´s DNB and Denmark´s Danske Bank, as well as the Netherlands´ NIBC, say they are taking a hard look at their borrowers´ policies.
We believe actors that do not take the environmental and social risk seriously will have problems accessing capital markets in the future, said Kristin Holth, DNB´s leader for Ocean Industries. Most of the 18 institutional investors contacted by Reuters said they preferred engagement to divestment, at least at first.
In March, Dutch company Seatrade and two of its directors were found guilty of violating rules banning the transport of waste from the EU to India when it sailed ships there to have them demolished, one of the first criminal cases of its kind.
The case sets an important precedent, said Ingvild