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Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) is an organization for sustainable development and NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC)

The Challenges to be Green Ship Recycling Yard in Bangladesh : YPSA Round Table Meeting

Guests in the YPSA BSBRS Round Table Meeting

A comprehensive effort is needed to uplift the ship recycling sector from the ongoing downfall of the sector.

Bangladesh’s ship recycling industry dismantles hundreds of scrap ships every year. The industry not only employs thousands of people but also provides revenue worth Tk. 1000-1500 crore to the government. Despite the improvement in safety and compliance, the industry witnessed the lowest imports of scrap ships in a decade. In this context, immediate government assistance has become essential to recover the sector from collapsing.

Speakers at a roundtable emphasized this on Thursday afternoon. The non-governmental Development Organization YPSA, in collaboration with the Bangladesh Ship Breakers and Recyclers Association (BSBRS), organized the event titled ‘The Challenges to be Green Ship Recycling yard in Bangladesh’ at the conference hall of Hotel Agrabad in the port city. The Business Standard played the role of Media Partner at the event.

Mohammad Ali Shahin, coordinator of YPSA, delivered the keynote presentation at the meeting to commence the discussion. The presentation featured green ship recycling and the challenges faced by the industry. He also came up with a few recommendations to combat the challenges.


Moderated by Mohammad Ali Shahin, the roundtable was addressed by Abu Taher, president of BSBRA, as the chief guest, Master Abul Kashem, senior member of BSBRA, Mohammad Zahirul Islam, vice-president of BSBRA and Managing Director of PHP Ship Recycling yard, as special guests. Among the dignitaries, the event also featured Mohammad Sekander Hossain Tinku, proprietor of KR Steel, Mohammad Borkat Ullah, CEO of SN Corporation, AJM Nazim Uddin, Chairman of BILS, Md Ashraf Uddin, Research officer of the Department of Environment, Md Tipu Sultan, Labor inspector, Shamsuddin Illius, Chattogram Bureau Chief of The Business Standard, and Ln Md Gias Uddin, president of Sitakunda Social Welfare Foundation.

BSBRA President and Vice President at the meeting

BSBRA President Abu Taher said, “ There were about 160 shipbreaking yards in the thriving industry. But in the last five years, more than 120 yards have shut down. Now only 20-25 yards are in operation. We have made many changes in our cutting system and achieved commendable development in the last 30 years. Meanwhile, we have a big challenge to transform all the yards into green yards by 2025.”

“BSBRA is thankful to YPSA for its continuous support on the ground to develop the capacity of the workers and the yards towards green ship recycling,” he said.

Zahirul Islam Rinku, the Vice President of BSBRA said, “Transforming a traditional yard into a green yard involves Tk. 50-100 crore investments. Many ship breakers cannot invest such a big amount. If the government arranges long-term loans with low interest, they can transform the yards into green yards within the timeframe set by the Hong Kong Convention and survive. YPSA’s support to the yards and the industry is unmatchable which is very much significant for the sector”

Shamsuddin Illius stressed the responsibility and accountability of the industry owners in sharing information about the latest development. He said, “The sector has seen tremendous development in recent years. But, the world is not aware of the development as the owners do not share proper information, which often leads to the publication of negative reports with misinformation. BSBRA can take support from YPSA for meeting the requirements of the standards”

He recommended a strong media management system to let the world learn about the largest shipbreaking industry in the world.

The roundtable discussion served as a platform for stakeholders to voice their concerns and call for decisive government action to ensure the continued viability of Bangladesh’s shipbreaking industry. With immediate government support, stakeholders remain hopeful that the sector can overcome its current challenges and thrive in the years to come.