BIMCO predicts an unprecedented surge in ship recycling Ship’s crew

The global maritime industry will see an extraordinary surge in ship recycling activity over the next decade, with more than 15,000 ships expected to be decommissioned and dismantled between 2023 and 2032. accordingly Marine industry group BIMCO.

This forecast more than doubles recycling numbers over the past decade and underscores a significant shift in the industry’s focus on sustainable practices and environmental stewardship.

As the ship recycling wave gathers momentum, BIMCO is emphasizing the urgent need to ratify and enforce the Hong Kong International Convention on Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling. First adopted in 2009, the Convention aims to reduce the risks to human health, safety and the environment associated with ship dismantling.

According to BIMCO, 7,780 vessels with a total deadweight tonnage of 285 million tonnes have been recycled over the past decade. Notably, much of the recycled deadweight, around 60%, came from ships built in the 1990s.

Looking ahead to the next decade, ships built in the 2000s will be the main engine of recycling. Additionally, according to BIMCO, recycling levels could continue to increase over the next 10 to 20 years given the 65% increase in deadweight capacity in the 2010s.

Historically, around 50% of bulk carriers, tankers and container ships were recycled by the age of 25, with an estimated 90% being dismantled between the ages of 30 and 35. BIMCO says that by applying this recycling pattern to the current fleet of merchant ships, industry experts estimate that between 2023 and 2032 about 15,000 ships with a combined weight of 600 million tons will be recycled.

greenhouse gas emissions

BIMCO emphasizes that one encouraging aspect of increased ship recycling is the positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions from the use of electric arc furnaces, a dominant method in ship recycling, to recycle steel. The process leads to significantly lower emissions compared to the production of crude steel.

BIMCO notes that India and Turkey, two major ship recycling nations, both make extensive use of electric arc furnaces for steel production. In the last five years alone, the two countries recycled 25% and 34% of the world’s total ship tonnage and ship count, respectively. Bangladesh, the world’s largest ship recycling country, and Pakistan also make significant contributions to the industry, collectively recycling 96% of deadweight and 77% of ships over the same period, according to BIMCO.

BIMCO anticipates that other factors, such as stricter greenhouse gas emission regulations, will accelerate the phasing out and recycling of older ships and lead to an accelerated decommissioning rate.

In total, BIMCO plans to recycle more than 15,000 ships and 600 million deadweight tons over the next decade.

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