Recycling of Ships & Marine Structures
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Recycling of Ships & Marine Structures


Recycling of Ships & Marine Structures

The disposal of ships and other marine structures raises a wide variety of issues identified by persons or organisations raising environmental concerns. The vast majority of ships are broken up on beaches in Asia where concerns have been raised with regard to the lack of environmental or safety legislation. The activity is now regarded by the International Labour Organisation as one of the most dangerous in the world. The 1972 London Convention and the OSPAR Convention of 1998 have effectively ruled out the disposal of ships and oil and gas platforms by dumping at sea. This means that methods must be found to dismantle them safely and cleanly on shore. The Royal Institution of Naval Architects is organising the conference (4-5 May 2005 – London) dedicated to these issues and invites relevant papers.

There are calls to ensure that more facilities become capable of breaking up and recycling ships both cleanly and safely, in both Europe and Asia. The need for yards of this type in Asia exists as the vast majority of the scrap steel extracted from ships finds a ready market in the construction industry and the various components of the ships (auxiliary engines, batteries, hydrocarbons, brass fittings, copper, household fittings such as wash basins, taps, etc.) are re-sold for further use. There is a requirement for all single hulled oil tankers to be replaced by 2010. This is expected to lead to a massive increase in the number of ships requiring disposal, magnifying the problems faced today. There are also approximately 200 decommissioned ships, the so-called “Ghost Ships”, owned by the US government awaiting disposal in James River, Virginia.

Papers are invited on the following topics (abstracts to be delivered by 1 December 2004):

  • Assessments of the future demand for recycling.
  • The economic and environmental case for recycling. Can the developed world compete?
  • Design for recycling: Use of easily recyclable materials, creating and keeping an inventory of potentially hazardous materials and taking measures to facilitate the removal and disposal of these materials.
  • Assessments of the future demand for recycling.
  • Regulatory matters: International and National regulations and their enforcement, industry guidelines and voluntary codes of practice.
  • Controlling the environmental impact of recycling.
  • Working conditions in recycling facilities.
  • New technologies and methods of recycling.


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