NGO Shipbreaking Platform: High Accident Rate at Aliaga Shipbreaking Yards

  • Avance Gas in Red as Markets Remain Volatile

Despite being the preferred option for responsible ship recycling when compared to South Asia’s shipbreaking yards, Turkey’s Aliaga-based breaking yards still face considerable challenges including high accident rate.

Furthermore, there is a low level of awareness of occupational diseases at the Aliaga yards, according to NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

“NGOs and local labour rights groups, including Platform partner Istanbul Health and Safety Labour Watch (IHSLW), are concerned about the high accident rate and the low awareness of occupational diseases at the Aliaga yards. As in South Asia, trade union organisation remains weak in Aliaga,” the platform said.

What is more, as explained by the NGO, the landing method which is used in Turkey “also poses environmental challenges as the risk of slag and paint chips falling into the water is high.”

However, the platform pointed out that through engagement with NGOs and labour rights groups, the Turkish Ship Recyclers Association remains attentive to constantly improving the industry practice.

To that end, several of the yards in Aliaga have applied to be on the upcoming EU list of approved ship recycling facilities.

“In order to make it on the EU list, the yards will be subject to critical assessment of their environmental and social performance,” the platform added.

In 2016, Turkey dismantled 92 ships, including several drill ships and platforms. In comparison to South Asia, Turkey dismantles smaller vessels, many of them either EU-owned or EU-flagged. Aliaga is also a preferred destination for EU navy vessels, the platform’s data shows.

In the meantime, although freight rates saw marginal improvements in the first quarter of 2017, Norway-based transporter of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Avance Gas Holding ended the period in loss as markets remained volatile.

Namely, the company said that its net loss for the period stood at USD 13.5 million, compared with a net profit of USD 21.1 million seen in the first three months of 2016, while the company’s operating revenue plunged to USD 29.9 million from USD 59.9 million in the respective quarters.

The company also recorded an operating loss of USD 8 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2017, against an operating profit of USD 26 million reported in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

Additionally, Avance Gas informed that its average time charter equivalent (TCE) rate for the fleet was USD 10,505/day, up from USD 9,602/day in the fourth quarter of 2016, pushing TCE earnings in the first quarter to USD 13.1 million, up from USD 12.1 million reported in the previous quarter.

US VLGC exports averaged 47 cargoes per month in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 40 cargoes per month in the previous quarter, with total volume rising to 6.9 million tons from 6 million tons reported in the fourth quarter of 2016. Middle East export volumes declined to 8.5 million tons, from 9.5 million tons due to OPEC cut-backs and seasonally lower LPG trading activity. Asia continues to be the largest importer of US LPG exports, with a share of over 60%. Spot cargoes from the Middle East bound for India have recommenced, following redelivery of time-chartered tonnage by the Indian oil majors, according to Avance Gas.

A total of 26 ships is scheduled for delivery in 2017. Five ships were delivered in the first three month of the year and nine ships are expected in the second quarter. One ship was reported as sold for recycling during the quarter. No other changes to the global fleet have been reported, the company informed.

The fleet utilization for Avance Gas’ vessels was 84% during the quarter ended March 31, 2017, compared to 96% in the quarter ended December 31, 2016. The increased waiting time was largely due to less export volume from Middle East and declining export from US Gulf, mainly in February.

World Maritime News