Ship-breaking is a recycling process that involves the demolition of ships into recyclable scrap.
On an average, ships have a lifespan of around 25 to 30 years before they can be scrapped, the retired ships are beached at shipbreaking yards, to be demolished through machinery and labor to acquire scrap.
The steel scrap obtained after dismantling is used again in manufacturing other iron products.
More than 800 large ships are broken up each year, with a vast majority on Asian shipbreaking destinations.
Ship recycling activities moved countries as labor costs rose in the developed world, initially Shipbreaking activities were conducted in countries such as Japan and Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.
In the mid-20th century, most South East Asian countries which had lower labor costs began to dominate ship-breaking, with India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Pakistan and China continuing to be the top shipbreaking destinations.
The Asian segment shares a common characteristic, the countries have a large appetite for reusable scrap with predominantly Bangladesh, India and to a large extent Pakistan using domestic scrap derived from recycled ships.
Pakistan‘s Gadani ship-breaking yard is the world’s third largest ship breaking yard. The yard consists of 132 ship-breaking plots-located across a 10 km long beachfront at Gadani-Pakistan, about 50 km northwest of Karachi.
The Pakistani Shipyard has recycled 8 vessels from the beginning of the current year till date, activity is slow at present as demand for scrap remains low amid the lack of demand from downstream sectors for steel.
In the recent past Pakistan has also collaborated with international forums over Environmental compliances and the Green Revolution initiative to improve recycling standards which have had a crucial impact on the industry over the past few years.