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2024 to be ‘exciting year’ for subcontinent recycling

Following Pakistan’s ratification of the Hong Kong Convention at the end of November, all three nations in the Indian subcontinent are working towards complying with its requirements, making 2024 “a very exciting year from a recycling perspective”, says Hitesh Vyas, vice-president Middle East and Green Recycling Coordinator at Singapore-based cash buyer Wirana Shipping Corp.




In this video — recorded before Pakistan’s ratification — he says that 126 yards in India already comply, with another 20 expected to be certified during 2024. Although Pakistan does not yet have a compliant yard, Bangladesh has four and Vyas predicts that both nations will add to their tallies next year.

He also welcomes a proposed amendment to Europe’s Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR), which could be ratified by the end of this year. This follows an agreement  between the European Parliament and Waste Council to allow EU waste exports to non-OECD countries, which he believes could enable subcontinent yards to be included on the EU’s list of approved ship recycling yards.

Increased tonnage

In his video message, Vyas says that 2024 will also be a good year in terms of ship tonnage sent for recycling, with container ships contributing a significant share of that volume. More tankers and dry cargo ships than in 2023 will also become available, along with some specialised ships, such as PCTCs and LNG carriers, he predicts.

But these increased volumes are likely to put downward pressure on prices that yards will offer, which will also be influenced by the fluctuating value of steel, which he says will be especially volatile next year thanks to a number of global factors.

‘Green’ steel

Reflecting on the growing interest in using steel that has been produced using low-carbon processes — termed “green” steel — in newbuildings and ship repairs, Vyas says that recycling yards can play a key role.

For example, each tonne of steel made from iron ore in a blast furnace could produce around three tonnes of CO2, while the same amount of steel made from ship scrap could release as little as 0.35 tonnes of CO2, he says.

He uses his message to suggest that the production and use of green steel could form part of a company’s ESG policy. He would also like to see IMO recognise in some way the environmental benefits of shipowners using green steel. They should “get some positive points in terms of their emissions requirements”, he believes.

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