Abu Dhabi based marine contracting company, Khamis Al Rumaithy (Kare), is intending to develop a deepwater ship recycling facility for vessels of up to 12,000 tonnes, according to a report by The National.
The report said that the company is currently on the hunt for a suitable facility, with the possibility of future expansion to allow for the recycling of largest tankers, bulk carriers and container ships.
Bob Hawke, Kare's managing director, is reported to have said that establishing a ship recycling facility in the region would be a commercial opportunity for Abu Dhabi and would also give the country leverage in future international environmental marine talks.
"This opportunity has developed out of the region's own demand for steel," Hawke is reported to have said. "There are smelters in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. They already consume a massive amount of scrap steel and are looking to expand their capacity. So it makes sense to have a supply of that scrap steel on your doorstep."
Currently India and Bangladesh are the market leaders for ship breaking, but they have a reputation of offering lax environmental standards and ships are often simply beached and cut up, causing considerable environmental damage.
"Much of Europe's ships going for recycling are handled in Turkey. In the Far East, the ships tend to go to China," Hawke is reported to have explained. "We are in between, a natural destination for all the tonnage coming out of the Middle East and Africa."
According to the report, Hawke pointed out that any project in the UAE would have to be "fully compliant" with all the pending environmental regulations and guidelines being drawn up by the European Union and the United Nations International Maritime Organisation.
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