Ship Machinery & Parts Trade

Ship Machinery & Parts Trade from Alang Ship Recycling Yard

(Courtesy: MR. Ramesh Doshi, President, Alang Ship Machinery Association)

When a ship comes to end of the days, it is taken apart to its every last valuable ounce of metal, and recycled. Alang yard recycles more than half of all ships salvaged around the world.

A vibrant industry has sprung up at Alang, selling every reusable part found in a ship, ranging from furniture to crockery, carpets, consumer goods such as television sets and refrigerators and all kinds of knick-knacks.

Nearly a thousand shops dot the main road selling used goods. Boats, gym equipments, video games, navigation equipments, machine parts, tools and heavy machineries are also found in abundance. This has turned Alang into a hot destination for large and small businesses.

Ship recycling yards are the primary source to obtain second-hand machinery for marine and industrial application. Alang is world's largest ship recycling facility, scrapping about 400 ships annually and generating a huge amount of machinery and parts of various segments. Ships built in different part of world are coming for recycling which gives opportunity to avail a wide range of products of different makes, types and sizes. After the successful completion of its tenure the vessels are sent to recycling yard for various reasons such as due to old age, insurance constrains, class disapproval and also due to sluggish market condition. However, the ship's machineries in 75-80% of the ships scrapped are in excellent re-usable condition.

Machinery is the most important element in ship. So when a ship is scrapped, what happens to its machinery? Most of it is salvaged for sale as second-hand units and parts for re-use, which fetch significantly higher price than scrap and that grants ship recyclers a kind value addition to feasibility. Price of second-hand machinery depends upon its model, condition and demand in market, suitability for local industrial application etc.

Manufacturers of machineries are spending millions on R&D to develop advanced technology in terms of higher performance, increased fuel efficiency, additional safety, lower maintenance, reduced pollution and overall low running cost. In this process manufacturers time to time develop new models for new building ships and so the old models are discontinued from production. Also the inventories of these old model parts are not available in the open market/OEM dealers once the company phases out production of theses old models.

Manufacturers can produce these parts on specific order but which would need long delivery time and at extraordinarily high cost. This is where the Alang market steps in and fulfils this demand for old and new parts.

Ship has two types of requirement of parts and machinery. One is routine maintenance where requirement is pre-calculated & planned and the other is emergency requirement. If the vessel has a sudden break-down in machinery and such parts are not in production or on inventory with the supplier then it would lead to the vessel being held up and put ship owner in a desperate position. In such situations, second-hand parts obtained from ship recycling yard may be the best option to cater to this emergency requirements. In such situations, small to huge volume parts have been known to be air freighted to the various destination around the globe.

Owners of such older ship have limited budget, thus, purchase of new parts from manufactures would be extremely expensive for them. In such situation, second-hand parts from Alang would not only be cost effective but also would be preferable when owner intends to run the ship for a short period.

It is very common that sister ships are manufactured having all identical machineries. It is therefore logical for ship owners to procure all the required parts from the sister vessel which being scrapped.

In 2013, an association of machinery traders from Alang was formed under banner “Alang Ship Machinery Association” having more than 70 registered members. This association is actively performing to achieve the fundamental objectives like friendly and fair business practice between members and with other clients, to gain the trust of domestic and international clients towards suppliers from Alang, to have undisputed business practice with ship recycler etc. and Mr. Ramesh Doshi is justifying his portfolio as The President of this association to achieve its goals.

Machinery can be categorized as new, recondition or second-hand. Ship contain variety of machinery including engines, generators, compressors, separators, filters, pumps, refrigeration equipment, hydraulic items, turbochargers, heat exchangers, fresh water generators, anchors, chains, deck equipment, navigation and safety equipment, automation equipment, electronics and life saving equipment, consumable stores, workshop machinery, cranes, winches, governors, turbines and many more. Some

of the most popular makes in this field are Wartsila, M.A.N. B&W, Sulzer, MAK, Deutz, Pielstick, Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, Yanmar, Bergen, Niigata, Stork, MWM, Hanshin, Ruston, Crepelle, Mirrlees, SKL, Caterpillar, Detroit, Allen, ABB, IHI, Holset, Napier, Sperre, Hamworthy, Tanabe, Hatlapa, Sauer & Sohn, Atlas capco, Alfa-Laval, Westfalia, Carrier, Sabroe, Daikin, Bitzer, Bock, Stal, York, Desmi, Naniwa, Shinko, Teikoku, Heishin, Iron, Thune Eureka, Rexroth, Kawasaki, Norwinch, Hagglunds, Fukushima, Kayaba, Vickers, Parker, Denison, Volvo, McGregor, Nirex, Atlas-Sasakura, Furuno, JRC, Sperry, Anschutz, Raytheon, Kelvin Hughes,

Yokogawa, Koden, Sailor, Dainichi, Woodward, Zexel, Diesel Kiki and many more. (Duly apologize for any name being left out)

Ship breaking yard is generating second-hand parts which are purchase by the local traders. Some of them are selling it for marine application to local or international shipping companies. Some of them are selling machineries to local industries for various applications. Marine institutes also purchase required machinery for the training purpose of new seafarers. Traders from Alang are selling parts and machinery in the form of second-hand, overhauled or reconditioned.

Depending upon the contractual condition between buyers/sellers, machinery and parts, before they are supplied, go through rigorous testing procedure as per the requirement laid down in the contract.

Ship machinery and parts trading business has remarkable growth and development in Alang. Several traders have developed well maintained warehouses, inventories and facilities. Some traders are maintaining stock and some traders are working on inquiries. The trend has always increasing demand of

superior technical services and reliability. Traders in this field are continuously being educated, getting experience and implementing improvements to meet at par with sophisticated customer's expectations. Like all other business, this trend is also facing competition from suppliers of other countries having ship recycling activities, like Bangladesh, China and Turkey.

Additionally there is tough competition from the manufacturers who copying parts at various locations. Indian suppliers have remarkably gained recommendation of worldwide shipping community in supply of second-hand and recondition parts.

Secondhand machinery and parts trade in Alang is also supporting many directly and indirectly related trades like transportation, workshops, classification society, logistic and provide employment to thousands of labour, engineers and technicians. A big share of sales goes towards export of such machinery thus achieving a huge inflow of foreign currency which contributes in strengthening country' s economy.

This trade has gone through a golden period before 2008, when the freight market was at its all time high and there was a huge demand for these machineries and parts at Alang from the shipping industry. Now with a new era of ships coming for demolition, yet newer machineries are coming in to the market, posing new challenges for the SMB.