The breaking up of tankers and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers at Pakistan’s Gadani shipbreaking yards was banned in February after two incidents which caused dozens of fatalities.
The Chief Minister of Balochistan, Sardar Sanaullah Khan Zehri, said these breaking activities would be banned until proper safety arrangements are made, but the dismantling of tankers and LPG carriers which are already at the yards would continue after proper cleaning.
“The two recent accidents, the explosion on Nov 1, killing at least 28 workers, and the fire on Jan 9, with another five victims, are direct consequences of the total absence of safety measures,” said Patrizia Heidegger, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s executive director.
“We welcome the fact that the Government of Balochistan seems finally willing to crack down on these appalling conditions.”
The decision to halt the shipbreaking activities has left many fearing for the fate of new arrivals and clearance permissions on existing deals, according to GMS, a cash buyer of ships for recycling.
GMS said that once the ban is lifted, key requirement for all tankers arriving locally will be strictly gas free for hot works, with all cargo and slop tanks totally cleaned of all cargo, slops and sludges, the same as current regulations in both India and Bangladesh.