JICA may fund two-thirds of Alang shipyard’s Rs730 crore revamp plan
Gandhinagar: The world’s largest ship recycling yard at Alang in Gujarat is set for a modernization project that will not only pave the way for safer and more environment- friendly operations but also help double the number of ships that come to the yard to be dismantled.
The upgradation will entail an investment of about Rs730 crore, which is proposed to be largely funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), according to three officials close to the development.
“We have finalized the project, completed the detailed project report and have held meetings with senior JICA officials in which we have agreed to their broad terms and conditions. A tripartite agreement would be signed between the Gujarat government, the government of India and the Japan government. While we are expecting this project to be implemented soon, a final decision has to be taken by the Centre,” said Ajay Bhadoo, chief executive officer and vice-chairman of Gujarat Maritime Board, the maritime regulator that has administrative control over the Alang-Sosiya Ship Recycling Yard as it is called.
JICA prepared a final report in July on the Alang ship-recycling improvement project, a copy of which is available on its website.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who will be visiting Gujarat next week, are likely to make an announcement on the project, said a senior state government official who did not wish to be named.
“The project cost is estimated to be about $111 million of which JICA is expected to pledge a funding of $76 million in the near future. Currently about 30% of the world’s total dismantling tonnage takes place at Alang and after upgradation this share will rise to 50-55%, doubling the number of ships that come here for dismantling,” said Atul Sharma, deputy general manager (environment) at GMB, who is overseeing the implementation of the project.
The Alang-Sosiya Ship Recycling Yard is divided into close to 150 plots that are owned by GMB and leased to private ship recyclers. In operation since 1983, over 5,500 vessels have been scrapped in the yard, including warships, tankers and even oil rigs.
The Rs730-crore project envisages upgrading of 70 yards. Impervious floors that will prevent pollutants from reaching the sub-soil will be installed, and existing facilities like incinerator and oil recovery systems improved and large mobile cranes and beach-cleaning wheel loaders will be provided.
About Rs150 crore has been earmarked for improving safety systems and development of housing, healthcare facilities and social amenities for workers. The project aims to construct additional housing facilities for 6,000 workers in phases.