Turkey is the fourth-largest ship recycler in the world. Davis Index spoke with Caglar Erdil, director of Dortel Ship Recycling and a member of Gemisander, a Turkish shipbreaking and recycling association about the importance of shipbreaking for scrap generation.
Could you please tell us about shipbreaking in Turkey?
The Turkish recycling industry takes in high-tonnage ships that have finished their economic life for disassembling under safe and environmentally friendly conditions. Today, 22 Turkish companies are actively working at full capacity in this industry. Most of these companies are audited by international organizations and fulfill the stringent standards of the Hong Kong convention. Most importantly, eight of our companies are approved by the European Commission for shipbreaking. The balance companies have applied to the European Commission to get their facilities approved to bring in European vessels for shipbreaking and are under an audit as part of the approval process.
What is Turkey’s role in the global shipbreaking industry and how many tonnes of scrap was generated by this industry in the January-August period?
Turkey is the only country apart from European ship recyclers that is approved by the European Commission to disassemble and recycle the region’s end-of-life vessels. Thus, Turkey has become the closest country for European companies to recycle thousands of ships actively operating in the European continent. Turkey has the fourth-largest ship recycling industry in the world after Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
In the first eight months of the year, Turkish companies dismantled a total of 700,000mt of ship scrap. We expect to end the year with 900,000mt of ship scrap generation. This volume would generate a total of around $250mn in revenue for Turkey.
What were the main reasons behind the recent dismantling of many passenger and cruise ships in Turkey?
This year, many passenger ships were recycled due to the COVID-19 pandemic for those companies to generate some revenue, especially since most of them are in good condition and even new. I regret to state that more ships in very good condition are expected to be dismantled as the cruise ships industry continues to suffer the effects of the pandemic. Many drilling vessels were also dismantled in Turkey this year amid low oil prices that are still affecting the global oil & gas industry.
How important is shipbreaking for Turkish steelmakers?
Shipbreaking scrap is a raw material, and it is important in the supply chain for many Turkish mills. Most shipbreaking yards are located around 30 minutes from steelmaking facilities. Moreover, ship scrap is of better quality than other grades and therefore has a higher value. Turkish mills use it to produce higher quality steel products.