A record number of more than 200 shipbreakers, shipbrokers and buyers at the cutting edge of ship demolition descended on Singapore for last year's TradeWinds Ship Recycling Forum, including presidents of the Indian, Bangladesh and Pakistan recycling associations.
A packed afternoon workshop discussed the improvements at the waterfront, including a rapidly growing number of Alang shipbreakers now holding a statement of compliance with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention).
Health, safety and environmental standards in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, China and the US were also discussed and debated by a panel including John Stawpert of the International Chamber of Shipping, Francesca Carlsson of NGO Shipbreaking Platform, Jim Heath of Lloyd’s Register, Henning Gramann of GSR Services, Nitin Kanakiya of Triveni Ship Breakers and Shree Ram Group owner Chetan Patel.
Differences were put aside for a few hours as participants enjoyed an evening that overlooked Marina Bay and was hosted by Al Salam Insurance director Dani Patel and Junichi Hirata of Japan’s ClassNK.
But it was soon back to business with a warm welcome from principal sponsor Gaurav Mehta of Best Oasis/Priya Blue followed by a hard-hitting debate between the “godfather of shiprecycling” Nikos Mikelis and NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s Carlsson on whether shipowners are “keeping demo in the dark ages by sending ships to South Asia”. A poll of delegates immediately after the debate showed that 23% of those who voted agreed.