26 November, 2020

Junkyard Scrapped

Alang shipbreakers look westwards as orders stop coming

Atul Loke
Junkyard Scrapped
Is it finally curtains for the world's largest shipbreaking yard? A recent US government move could well turn the coastal Gujarat town of Alang into a ghost town. Paradoxically, what is bad news for Alang, the Indian steel industry and thousands of labourers is good news for the shipbreakers!

Not too many people even in the shipping ministry noticed the US decision to offer vessels to shipbreakers free of charge with a $200 per tonne subsidy. This came after its Environment Protection Agency (epa) imposed a ban on shipping old vessels to scrapping yards in European or Asian nations lest they cause pollution. To start with, Washington will allow scrapping of six vessels and then raise the number and subsidy budgets every subsequent year. Shipbreakers will have to do their work in Broune Ville, Texas, using either domestic labour or those with work permits from neighbouring countries.

Pravin Nagarseth, Indian Shipbreakers Association (isa) president, says many of his compatriots are planning to close shop in Alang and set up facilities in Broune Ville, with cheap Mexican...


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