by Tina Olivero

    Sea Sentinels in yards push for green recycling compliance by vessel owners

    Yards worldwide are rising to the challenge of sustainable ship recycling in response to stringent new EU regulations but third-party supervision is still needed to ensure compliance with these rules and eliminate reputational risk for the shipowner, according to recycling consultancy Sea Sentinels.

    Environmental, social and governance principles are now seen as vital to a vessel owner’s equity story as the maritime and offshore industries face mounting pressure from clients, investors, financiers and the public to ensure vessels are recycled in a safe, green and responsible manner.

    These industries must also relate to a plethora of regulations that have emerged in recent years to stamp out scandalous scrapping practices – including the use of child labour and release of hazardous materials – that have led to serious accidents involving fatalities at unregulated yards.

    Regulatory complexity

    The IMO’s 2009 Hong Kong Convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships was preceded by various rules issued under the aegis of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Basel. More recently, there has been the European Union Ship Recycling Regulation (EUSRR) and Basel Ban.

    The latter regulations require EU-flagged vessels to be recycled at one of the current 41 yards on a list of approved recycling facilities worldwide and Sea Sentinels is now offering its services at yards in Norway, Belgium, Spain and other European countries included on the list.

    Its chief executive Rakesh Bhargava says though that simply selecting an approved yard is actually not sufficient for owners to achieve compliance due to regulatory complexity, and on-site supervision is needed to enforce the requirements – mirroring a shipbuilding project in reverse.

    Bhargava explains, “Enforcement still remains a major challenge today. As an independent provider, Sea Sentinels addresses the core problem that is ‘on-the-ground’ enforcement and compliance so that best practice is observed. We strongly believe that having a full-time independent, experienced and strong site presence is a key contributor to safe and environmentally friendly recycling operations in compliance with both regulations and owner policies. Our teams like to get their hands dirty and believe in active engagement at the worker level.”
    CEO of Sea Sentinels, Rakesh Bhargava

    Zero incidents

    Sea Sentinels boasts a track record of zero incidents from sustainable recycling projects for international owners on both ships and offshore rigs at yards in major scrapping locations including Turkey, China (now closed) and India as it expands its supervision activities in Europe.

    The Singapore-based company, with offices and representations in Norway, Malaysia, China, Japan, Indonesia, India and Turkey, provides comprehensive services for ships and offshore units based on three main business pillars – sustainable recycling, inventory of hazardous materials and its maintenance (IHM) and lay-up services.

    As part of its consultancy role, the company performs benchmarking and audits for selection of an appropriate ship recycling facility as Bhargava says, “there is not much awareness or domain knowledge among most owners for carrying out due diligence towards yard selection”.

    During the recycling process, Sea Sentinels deploys a specialist supervision team on site to monitor activity so HSE requirements are fulfilled and provide continuous reporting – such as documenting hazardous waste disposal – so that final certification can be gained to secure regulatory compliance.

    ESG risk

    Bhargava added, “Given the regulatory requirements, this is a complicated and exhaustive process that simply cannot be left to chance if owners want to demonstrate their credibility to stakeholders and minimize their ESG risk exposure. Nobody wants untoward incidents that will jeopardise the environment as well as the lives and safety of workers. These also generate negative publicity for all stakeholders, be it the owners, yards or certifying bodies. Corporate social responsibility is the watchword.”

    Lately, courts in Europe have held that shipping companies can be held liable for incidents on their ships during recycling even after the vessels have been sold. While European yards typically offer lower scrap prices than their South Asian counterparts due to higher operating costs, Bhargava believes carrying out recycling sustainably with expert enforcement will benefit business in the long run given heightened green awareness in the market.

    Source(s) and Image(s): Sea Sentinels

    Photographer: Oliver Sved/123RF

    Tina Olivero

    30 years ago, Tina Olivero looked into the future and saw an opportunity to make a difference for her province and people. That difference came in the form of the oil and gas sector. Six years before there was even a drop of oil brought to the shores of Newfoundland, she founded The Oil and Gas Magazine (THE OGM) from a back room in her home on Signal Hill Road, in St. John’s, Newfoundland. A single mother, no financing, no previous journalism or oil and gas experience, she forged ahead, with a creative vision and one heck of a heaping dose of sheer determination. With her pioneering spirit, Ms. Olivero developed a magazine that would educate, inspire, motivate and entertain oil and gas readers around the world — She prides herself in marketing and promoting our province and resources in unprecedented ways. The OGM is a magazine that focuses on our projects, our people, our opportunities and ultimately becomes the bridge to new energy outcomes and a sustainable new energy world. Now diversifying into the communications realms, a natural progression from the Magazine, The OGM now offers an entirely new division - Oil & Gas Media. Today, The Oil and Gas Magazine is a global phenomenon that operates not only in Newfoundland, but also in Calgary and is read by oil and gas enthusiasts in Norway, Aberdeen, across the US and as far reaching as Abu Dhabi, in the Middle East. Believing that Energy is everyone’s business, Ms. Olivero has combined energy + culture to embrace the worlds commitment to a balance of work and home life as well as fostering a foundation for health and well being. In this era of growth and development business and lifestyle are an eloquent mix, there is no beginning or end. Partnering with over 90 oil and gas exhibitions and conferences around the world, Ms. Olivero's role as a Global Visionary is to embrace communication in a way that fosters oil and gas business and industry growth in new and creative ways.

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