The first ship recycling plant in Poland is to be built. This is part of the Batory project, which is to be carried out under the name “Green Shipyard”. It is part of the actions undertaken by the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation for boosting shipyard industry in our country. In the authors’ opinion, the project also aims to use the existing potential of the maritime environment and its protection.
The concept of building a recycling plant is connected with international legal framework concerning ship recycling. To reduce the practice of scrapping ships directly on the beaches of Southern Asia (mainly in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan – approx. 70% of the market), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) began the preparation of a document called the Hong Kong Convention in 2009. Such a document would regulate all such activities. The document sets forth a set of requirements that reprocessing plants need to fulfil in order to be entered into the list of authorised scrapping shipyards and regulates the problem of dangerous substances on ships. This document has however not yet entered into force because it is necessary for it to be ratified by at least 15 large flag countries and countries employing recycling. They should constitute at least 40% of the world fleet and be responsible for the significant part (approx. 50%) of the recycling capacity in the world. As such, we may wait many years for the convention to enter into force.
The European Commission tried to end this deadlock and in March 2012 proposed an introduction of provisions guaranteeing that European ships will be scrapped in ports that are safe for employees and environmentally friendly. The relevant regulation was officially adopted in October 2013 and entered into force on 30th December 2013.
Its purpose was to increase safety, the protection of human health and maritime environment of the EU at each stage of a ship’s life cycle. It concerns commercial sea ships with the tonnage of over 500 tonnes gross, sailing under EU Member State flag, as well as ships of the foreign flag calling at EU ports. The regulation, which in big part was based on the Hong Kong Convention, also envisages the creation of a list of authorised scrapping shipyards.
And one of the plants conforming with EU requirements is to be built in Poland, in Szczecin. Due to the project implementation, a special working group consisting of representatives of governmental administration, academia and industry experts has been created.
The Batory project is based on four independent parts: construction of passenger ferries for Polish ship owners, assistance in creation and implementation of modern marine technologies, construction of a modern module offshore platform and construction of “Green Shipyard” in Poland (ship recycling plant).
Article developed in cooperation with "Namiary na Morze i Handel" magazine.
phot. Tadeusz Urbaniak/ZMPG-a S.A