Europe is exporting wastes to Bangladesh

9 May 2008

The single hull oil tanker Muadi owned by the French society PERENCO has just been sold for demolition to Bangladesh for 695 $ per ton. Built in 1972, the Muadi (ex-Beatrix Voyager, ex-Chevron Zenith, ex-Afran Zenith, ex-La Nina) was converted in 1982 into a FSO Floating Storage and Offloading unit and was used until recently off Congo. This activity generates in the tanks and in the piping significant quantities of sediments and accumulates gases; these gases are susceptible to deadly explosions during the demolition. Such accidents have been recorded during the past years in Bangladesh.

Her built date suggests that the Muadi contains important quantities of asbestos and PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls). The Muadi just before she was put on the demolition market was sold to the US Western Overseas Corporation by the French broker Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS). This was a means to avoid the February 15th 2006 decision by the French state council, forbidding the sale of ships at the end of their life to non OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development).

Robin des Bois is appalled that French businesses allow without any particular precaution the demolition of a hull containing such large quantities of toxic materials to be broken up in a country with such a poor infrastructure as The Bangladesh. Robin des Bois is asking the French Government to remind national ship owners and brokers of their responsibilities.

On another issue, in spite of the denials from the German ship-owner and the financial group KGAL it has been confirmed that the Maersk Barcelona, the Maersk Brisbane and the Ankara were also sold to be demolished in Bangladesh at the price of 763 $ per ton. In this case once again, the flow of good intentions has been wiped out by the power of money. If sold to a particular Indian ship-breaking yard better organised in terms of health safety and security these three containers ships would have gone for an average of only 550 $ per ton. Prefering the Bangladesh option, the German ship owners insured a supplementary profit of close to 10 million dollars to the detriment of the protection of Man and the Environment.

See press release “Oil slick Queen demolished in Bangladesh ?”April 21st, 2008


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