Visit to Research & Educational Institutions in India.


Whilst Korea, China, European yards and Japan continue to dominate the world shipbuilding industry India and Vietnam with low cost labour in abundance are emerging to the top in the world shipbuilding arena. The order book for shipbuilding in India has a nine-fold increase in just four years. India has been building merchant ships as well as ships and submarines for the navy and continuously improving their designs as well as analysis capabilities and modernising their ship production equipment and methods. Parallel with this increasing shipbuilding activity in India Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Departments in the country have been active in research to improve the hydrodynamic design of ships and to investigate the use of alternative fuel with a view to reducing ship emissions. The results of the research support the shipyards in the country with retrofitting the existing vessels to lower emissions or with new designs that will have low emission characteristics. Until the late 20th century, ship breaking took place in port cities of industrialised countries such as UK and USA. Today, most ship breaking yards are in Alang in India, Chittangong in Bangladesh, Aliaga in Turkey and near Karachi in Pakistan due to lower labour costs and less stringent environmental regulations dealing with the disposal of lead paint, and other toxic substances. China used to be an important player in the 1990's. It is now trying to reposition itself in more environmentally friendly industries. Ship breaking can occur in a wide variety of facilities. They range from advanced sites like Van Heyghen Recycling and other Green Ship Recycling approved facilities in industrialised ports, to low tech facilities such as at Alang, India. At present the only truly environmentally correct option is the use of Green Ship Recycling at approved facilities. These facilities can recover up to 99% of the ship's materials and correctly process hazardous waste substances.The proposed trip will provide and excellent opportunity to collaborate and expand our knowledge further on the Indian shipping industry and its research and educational needs.

Planned Impact

Environmental issues are at the forefront of most developed countries and while the world economy depends on successful and thriving global industry, these industries have an obligation to conduct their business in a way that reduces its negative environmental impact. The Shipping industry has long since been at the top of the offenders list for environmental damage and the need to address these issues has become a matter of priority. With increasing shipbuilding activity in India, research and educational establishments have been active in research to improve the hydrodynamic design of ships and to investigate the use of alternative fuel with a view to reducing ship emissions. Joint research with these institutions will provide an excellent opportunity to combine forces in achieving the global low carbon shipping goals. India is one of the world's top locations for ship dismantling having a ship breaking yard at Alang and at various locations along the coastlines where very primitive techniques are employed for ship dismantling. Low cost labour and less stringent environmental regulations in India mean that it has not had a good reputation on the environmental front of ship dismantling. Alang is a very low technical facility and there is a strong environmental need for improvement in their dismantling methods. Having discussions on this topic and promoting a Green Ship Recycling policy would benefit not only the yard and India but have a positive global impact on the environment.


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