PHP Family brought in the country's first green vessel—certified to contain no material hazardous to health—to scrap in its ship breaking yard in Sitakunda on Tuesday.
Local conglomerate PHP spent Tk 100 crore to purchase the vessel, Ore Vitoria, from Brazilian iron ore mining company Vale.
PHP started breaking the ship down in its yard yesterday, a process that will take about five months to complete, said Zahirul Islam, managing director of the yard. Ore Vitoria weighs about 27,000 tonnes and was built in 1989 by Vale, he said.
The yard and the vessel were certified as green under the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.
The Hong Kong Convention aims at ensuring that ships, when being recycled, do not pose any health and environmental risk. It also provides ship recycling plans, which ship breakers should follow to avoid such risks.
PHP's yard is the first in Bangladesh to achieve a green certificate, which is given when a yard complies with certain standards set with inputs from International Maritime Organisation's member states and non-governmental organisations.
PHP got the vessel at a discounted rate, which helped the company save around Tk 15 crore thanks to the yard's green certificate, Islam said.
“The ship will be recycled in the yard complying with the environmental standards set under the Hong Kong Convention.”
If any yard compliant with the convention cannot fulfil these requirements, its certificate will be cancelled, he said.
“PHP ship breaking yard has already invested Tk 35 crore to comply with the standards set by the convention,” Islam said. PHP has to spend Tk 20 crore more in the next one year to maintain its current standard of scrapping green vessels, he said.
Currently, the company has the capacity to scrap and recycle vessels weighing around 1.5 lakh tonnes. If the standards are maintained on time, the capacity will reach up to four lakh tonnes, he said.