CHITTAGONG, Aug 28: The ship breaking industry in Bangladesh has the potential to become a vital economic sector and contribute significantly to the growth of the country's economy.
Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation Kitack Lim made the remark after visiting the PHP Ship Breaking Yard at Sitakunda on Monday.
He said the Hong Kong Convention on Ship Recycling and other maritime agencies have all along been laying stress on some principles and guidelines in shaping up the ship breaking and recycling industry throughout the world.
The PHP Ship Breaking & Recycling Yard has earned global recognition for strictly adhering to those principles, ensuring an environment-friendly atmosphere, he added.
Brice Martin Castex, head of the Implementation of Instruments Support of the Department for Member States Audit and Implementation Support of IMO, Commodore Ariful Islam, Director General of Shipping, and Sajjad Hussain, Commandant of Bangladesh Marine Academy, were present during the visit of the IMO secretary general.
Mr. Lim said the PHP Ship Breaking & Recycling Yard is a modern ship breaking yard. It is a role model for other shipyards. All ship breaking yards in the country should follow it for their work to safeguard the environment.
Managing Director of the PHP Ship Breaking & Recycling Yard Zahirul Islam Rinku welcomed the delegation to the shipyard and apprised them of the activities of the industry in the country.
The delegation visited every section of the yard and expressed satisfaction at the working condition in the yard.
The IMO chief said the ship breaking industry needs to be developed properly, as the country is looking forward to achieving the
'middle-income country' status. The situation in the industry has changed a lot over the last 10 years, he said.
Zahirul Islam said the workers have been provided with all necessary security measures and magnet-lifting system is being used instead of manually-lifting one. He also said that 39 per cent of the steel industries are using recycling materials from the ship breaking sector and over 50,000 people are involved with the industry directly or indirectly.
The industry is playing a vital role in many countries in Asia, including China, Japan, Thailand, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines and Bangladesh, he added.