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Bangladesh: Record rise in import of scrap-vessels

Bangladesh: Record rise in import of scrap-vessels

Dhaka: Import of scrap-ships in Bangladesh doubled in the last fiscal year due to sharp fall in its prices in the international market boosting the supply of raw materials to the country's steel sector, writes The Financial Times. Local importers purchased 2.2m tonnes of old ships mostly big sized in 2008-09 fiscal against 0.97m tonnes over the same period in 2007-08, according to statisitics.

"We've imported ships of over 2.2m tonnes last year. This is a record in the history of Bangladesh's ship-breaking industry," Enamul Hoque, a senior consultant of Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association (BSBA) told the FE. The number of ships imported during the last fiscal year was 193 against 120 in 2007-08, he said.

Currently, an old ship costs around US$300 a tonne in the international market, which was $750 before the recession hit the globe in 2008.

Enamul said local importers have added 19 more shipyards taking the number to 69 to cope with the increased number of old ships being imported in the country.

"Our importers are beaching four to five ships each week and are finishing cutting the same number a week," Zafar Ahmed, president of the BSBA told the FE.

Earlier, there were only 36 active ship breaking yards in Sitakundu, 20 kilometres north of the port city Chittagong, which dismantled 110 ships on an average every year. "We now dismantle nearly 60% of the ships sent to scrap-yards across the globe," said Ahmed.

India breaks around 1.5m tonnes a year followed by China 1.3m tonnes, Pakistan 1.0m tonnes and Turkey around 0.60m tonnes.  [14/09/09]

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