Despite the fact that the ship-breaking yard at Alang was not being used to its full capacity, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarabananda Sonowal stated that the Gujarat government planned to double the ship-breaking capacity at Alang to 10 million metric tonnes per year (MMPTA). This is when more than half of the Alang yard’s current 4.5 MMPTA capacity, which could dismantle 400-500 ships, is idle.
“Alang shipbreaking units recycle nearly 200 ships each year, producing 3.5 million tonnes of steel.” The industry employs 15,000 people directly and 1.5 lakh people indirectly. The proposed plan to double the size of the yards will result in a doubling of the number of jobs. According to Sonowal, this will benefit the entire region’s economy.
He was speaking at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar during a conference titled “Green Ship Recycling and Vehicle Scrapping.”
Despite the minister’s optimistic portrayal, data from the Gujarat Maritime Board show that the Alang shipbreaking yard in the Bhavnagar district has been struggling.
Despite the fact that the yard can currently dismantle 4.5 MMPTA of ships, it received only 187 ships for recycling in 2020-21. However, in 2021-22, 209 ships arrived in Alang to be recycled. However, these figures are nowhere near the 415 ships it destroyed in 2011 and 2012.
At the event, Haresh Parmar, secretary of the Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA), stated that “40% of the plots at Alang were not working,” indicating that Alang’s fortunes have deteriorated over the last ten years.
Parmar requested that the Central and Gujarat governments assist shipbreakers in gaining access to ships from the European Union (EU). Because of environmental concerns at ship-breaking facilities, the EU does not allow old ships to be sent to countries such as India.