Ship Breaking Industry

The shipping Industry of India has a crucial role to play in Indian economy. While comparing the largest steel making countries in the league India enjoys the 4 position of 5 countries that includes China and Turkey. These countries dominate world's Ship Recycling Industry.

In modern steel making, there are two main processes:

A) Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF): For production from iron ore, the pig iron has to be in a blast Furnace, which is then refined in to steel in a Basic Oxygen Furnace. Some scrap of steel is also added in the refining process. Approximately, 70% of the world steel is produced through this process.

B) Electric Arc and Induction Furnace: Approximately 30% of the world's steel is produced through this process.

In producing steel, the use of steel scrap marks some sense particularly from the economic and the environmental points of view. It is observed from the study that the necessary energy consumed for making 1 tonne of steel from iron ore is 23 gigajoule (GJ) as against 7 gigajoule (GJ) when using steel scrap. The recycling of steel saves natural resources pollution etc, as under:

• During recycling of every 1 tonne steel, 1.1 tonne of iron ore and 0.6 tonne of coal are saved.

• Air pollution is less by 86%

• Water pollution is less by 76%

• Water usage is reduced by 40% and

• Avoidance of generation of round about 1.3 tonnes of solid wastes. However, dependence on iron ore cannot be avoided as the steel scrap available is in relatively limited quantities.

There are three sources of steel scrap available for steel making: (i) “Home Scrap” which arises internally in steel mills as rejects from melting, casting, rolling, etc; (ii) “new steel scrap” which is generated when steel is fabricated into finished products; and (iii) “old steel scrap” which is steel scrap from obsolete products and which is collected, traded and sold to steel plants for re-melting. Ship steel scrap obviously falls in the third category of sources of steel scrap.

(Excerpt from: Ship Recycling Markets and the impact of the Honkong Convention by Dr Nikos Mikelis)

Beginning of Ship Breaking at Alang with 13 workers only……

The world labour day is customarily being celebrated all over the world including India on 1 May every year. In the development of majority of industries, the dedication of the original labourers is always cherished. Similarly, something like that has been substantiated by the workers working in the Ship Recycling Yard-Alang. The Ship Recycling Yard-Alang was started in 1983 with only 13 workers and today it gives bread and butter to more than 25000 workers, hailing from Gujarat and other states of India.

Shri Shivlal Dathawala

In the First part of 80s, the process of establishing ship recycling industry at Alang started getting momentum. After completing the majority of formalities connected with the industry, in 1982, the main question was the availability of workers. At that time, the leading ship breaker Shri Shivlal Dathawala had started making efforts to hiring workers from Darukhana area of Mumbai, and he was succeeded in his efforts by bringing 13 workers at Alang.

Thereafter, on 13 & 14 Feb, 1982, the first two ships, “Kota Tenjong” and “DDR” had reached Alang for breaking up. Thus, the business of ship breaking at Alang was stated in 1983 and the rest is the story before us.

Some of the 13 workers viz. Shri Hiralal Garibprasad is still working with Plot No.04 as Mukadam and Shri Ishwarchand Vishwakarma alias Bhagat is also working as Mukadam with the Plot No.20 at Alang