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AP Moller-Maersk to offer ship recycling consultancy

AP MOLLER-Maersk is taking an increasingly active role in the ship demolition business by offering consultation services to shipowners. The Danish shipping group is assisting six owners, who are spread around the world, said ship recycling project leader Tom Blankestijn. “As we have some expertise, we were contacted by third parties to assist them in making inventories of ships and assisting them in the ship recycling plan, in line with the upcoming International Maritime Organization convention,” he said. Maersk deals with a mixture of vessel types and has built a niche business off the back of it’s own internal ship recycling services over the last two years, he said. Following the collapse in freight rates over the last six months, ship recycling levels have increased significantly as demand for vessels has declined. Scrapping activity in 2008 reached 12.5m dwt in, nearly double the 2006 level of 6.4m dwt, according to Clarksons. In January this year, buyer activity had reached 20% of 2008’s total scrapping, with 2.7m dwt purchased for demolition. “The credit crisis is no surprise to anybody, which in this moment asks for a huge demand in recycling facilities,” said Mr Balnkestijn. “The number of ships are slightly increasing at the moment for our services but the bulk of the ships still go to the Indian subcontinent.” Maersk sends all of its own vessels, and those of clients, to breaking yards in China, where the majority of the company’s scrapping supervisors, who are involved with the dismantling process, are based. “We would not object to extending our services to other places, other than beaching, if the standards of recycling were guaranteed,” he said. He added that owners who are interested in its services would have to “be in line with the policy that we at Maersk have, as in the no-beaching policy”. The company has been vocal on the topic of ship recycling for many years, striving for better standards in the industry. Mr Blankestijn was one of the co-founders of the International Ship Recycling Association that was set up in 2007, to represent recycling yards at IMO meetings. The association‘s obejectives are to improve standards at ship scrapping yards that will lead to sustainable ship recycling.

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