NGO Shipbreaking Platform board member Merijn Hougee has collaborated with Dutch dredging and marine expert Boskalis over several months to develop a comprehensive ship recycling policy.
Boskalis has decided for clean and safe dismantling of its obsolete fleet in a Mexican ship recycling facility with which the ship owner has established a close partnership.
When the need arose for the sustainable dismantling of three dredgers (Para, Mercurius and Amstel) in Mexico, Boskalis found a local yard that was willing to change its working methods in order to meet Boskalis’ strict requirements for clean and safe ship recycling.
At first, Boskalis could not find a suitable yard on the Pacific coast of the American continent which was ready to dismantle a ship in a sustainable way in line with the Hong Kong Convention and Boskalis’ own standards.
The dilemma was shared with the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, and it was decided that Boskalis would seek a yard that had the potential to become compliant with Boskalis’ standards.
After visiting several possible yards, ISP/Amaya Curiel yard located in Ensenada on the Baja peninsula was chosen by Boskalis’ local experts.
“This is a best practice example,” says Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “Boskalis has shown how a ship owner can quickly improve ship recycling practices by taking the matter in one’s own hands. Other shipping companies should follow suit.”
According to NGO Shipbreaking Platform board member Merijn Hougee, Boskalis’ approach to dismantling is a testimony to how serious the company is about applying the international conventions to its recycling activities.
“The Boskalis technical superintendents on site showed passionate commitment to the clean and safe recycling of the vessels,” he says. “They took abstract principles and turned them into practical applications and invested time to find a dry-dock facility on the other side of the world which clearly has the potential to meet the highest international standards.”
Merijn Hougee added that ultimately this approach will help to transform a historically ‘dirty’ shipbreaking industry into a recycling industry with a positive image.