Bangladesh’s Young Ship Recyclers Striving for Sustainability.
In a recent conversation with TradeWinds, three dynamic ship recyclers from Chattogram shared their dreams of transforming ship recycling yards in Bangladesh. Currently, out of approximately 60 active ship recycling yards, only four are certified under the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. However, government officials anticipate that six more yards will achieve certification by the looming deadline, less than two years away.
Mohammad Taslim Uddin, the managing director of KR Group, stands as a testament to the transformation possible within the industry. Uddin, hailing from a ship recycling family, took the helm in 2013. Under his leadership, KR Group invested $4 million to align their yard with the Hong Kong Convention standards. Uddin emphasized the importance of continuous training for the workforce, a significant shift from the traditional unskilled labor approach. His vision extends beyond mere compliance; he aspires for sustainable, safe, and environmentally friendly ship recycling practices, inviting others in the industry to learn from their experience.
Sartaj Imran, the deputy managing director of Simni Group, echoes Uddin’s determination to achieve Hong Kong Convention certification. Imran, who grew up in the ship recycling business, is waiting for necessary road plans to implement required infrastructure upgrades. Inspired by pioneers like PHP Ship Breaking & Recycling Industries, Imran envisions a future where Bangladesh’s ship recycling industry attains global recognition for its quality and safety standards.
Faud Ibne Alam, the director of Baraka/Sagarika Ship Breaking, emphasizes the need for change despite facing resistance from the older generation in the industry. Alam, armed with multiple degrees, including an MBA, is eager to modernize their yards but faces challenges in financing the extensive upgrades. Despite the harsh economic climate, Alam remains committed to investing in training and education for employees, recognizing their pivotal role in the industry’s transformation.
These young leaders acknowledge the hurdles ahead but remain steadfast in their commitment to reshaping Bangladesh’s ship recycling industry. They urge patience from the shipping industry and non-governmental organizations, emphasizing that the transition, although slow, is underway. Their collective vision is to establish a ship recycling legacy that prioritizes sustainability, safety, and global recognition, reflecting the same quality that has made “Made in Bangladesh” garments renowned worldwide.