As in the first two quarters of this year (January-March and April-June), Bangladesh continued to be the top shipbreaking country in the third quarter (July-September).
In the third quarter of this year, 120 ships were scrapped worldwide, of which 41 ships (34%) were dismantled in Bangladesh, according to the latest report from NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a Belgium-based organisation that has been working worldwide on shipbreaking and its harmful effects.
In the third quarter of last year, 170 ships were scrapped worldwide. Of these, 24 ships (14%) were dismantled in Bangladesh. Ship breaking in the country increased by 170% in the third quarter of the current year compared to the same period in the previous year.
In the first three quarters of this year, 582 ships were scrapped worldwide, of which 197 (about 34%) were in Bangladesh.
According to the Shipbreaking Platform, in the first nine months of 2020 India topped the list of ship breakers. During the same period this year the country dropped to second position as 155 ships were dismantled there.
Besides, 87 ships were scrapped in Pakistan, 67 in Turkey, five in China and 71 in other countries, including in Europe, in the first three quarters of this year.
Last year, Bangladesh was at the top in shipbreaking in terms of quantity. At the time, ships broken worldwide yielded 1.58 crore tonnes of metal. At the same time, ships dismantled in Bangladesh produced 69.64 lakh tonnes of metal. As a result, Bangladesh has continued holding the top spot in shipbreaking in terms of quantity for the last six consecutive years.
Abu Taher, president of the Bangladesh Ship Breakers and Recyclers Association, said the country has seen a lot of infrastructural development in the last few years. This has increased the demand for rods in the country. The amount of ship breaking in the country has increased in order to supply the raw material for the making of these extra rods.
"The first year of Covid-19 had a negative impact on the shipbreaking industry, but there have been no major problems this year. Scrapping of ships continued during the lockdown this year. As a result, Bangladesh has topped the list of ship breakers in the last nine months," he added.
People involved in the sector have said Bangladesh has been increasing investment in the infrastructure for several years. Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, elevated expressways, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Matarbari and several other large power plants and infrastructure are under construction.
Besides, the housing sector has also started to recover from a slump. As a result, the demand for rods in the country has increased. The use of iron has also increased in various industries. The ship breaking industry plays a key role in meeting the demand for rods in these sectors.