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Bangladesh bans 'toxic' ship

Bangladesh bans 'toxic' ship

Chittagong: Bangladesh banned Sunday an allegedly 'toxic' oil tanker from being dismantled in the country after it was bought by a local shipbreaker, an official said, AFP reported.

'We have banned the MT Apsheron's entry into Bangladesh waters as we have found its name on Greenpeace's list of 50 hazardous ships,' the director general of the government's shipping department, A.K.M. Shafiullah, told AFP. 'The owner must decontaminate the ship outside Bangladesh, show proof of this to us and only then we will allow the ship to be dismantled in our shipbreaking yards,' he said. 

The department of shipping also banned Sunday the oil tanker MT Gudermas from entering Bangladeshi waters after a shipbreaker sought clearance, said Shafiullah.

Bangladesh last year banned the asbestos-lined, French-built Blue Lady, also known as the SS Norway, from being broken up in the country.

Bangladesh is currently paying unbelieavble prices for scrapping ships - the highest thus far being $947 per ldt, a price driven up by the vessel in question containing 346 tons of stainless steel.

Brokers expect the $1,000 barrier to be broken as early as this week.

Until three years ago the historical average price per laden ton was just $155, but then from October 2003 freight rates spiked and scrapping became limited just as Asian and especially Chinese demand for steel went through the roof.  [15/01/07]