Aliaga, İzmir has become one of the important addresses for the recycling of container ships leaving the market.
Container shipowners, who started to report losses as of the third quarter in parallel with the slowdown in the global economy and the sharp decline in freight, are sending old ships to scrap. One of the first addresses of global shipping lines for dismantling was the facilities in Aliaga, Izmir, which hosted the recycling of giant cruise ships during the pandemic.
Kamil Onal, President of the Aliaga Ship Recycling Industrialists’ Association (GEMİSANDER), told EKONOMİ daily that container ships are one of the ship types that have come to dismantling the most this year. Onal stated that they expect more commercial ships to come to dismantling in 2024.
Ship dismantling operations in Turkey are carried out at recycling facilities in Aliağa district of Izmir. Aliaga, where 22 ship recycling facilities are located, is also one of the most important centers in Europe in this field. Since December 2018, ships of European origin can only be dismantled in facilities that are included in the European Commission’s Approved Ship Recycling List. Turkey, together with a shipyard in the US, was the only non-EU country to join the list. Aliaga, which entered the list with 3 facilities in December 2018, had increased this number to 8 by January 2020. However, when the European Commission removed two shipyards operating in İzmir Aliaga from the list, the number of EU-approved Turkish facilities dropped to 6 in December 2022. European shipowners own about 40 percent of the world fleet.
290 thousand tons dismantled in 2023
GEMİSANDER President Onal, announced that 63 ships came to Aliaga for dismantling this year. The total tonnage of these ships was 290 thousand tons, Önal said and added “This year, in addition to cruises, the number of container ships coming for dismantling was also high.” A total of 600 thousand tons of ships were dismantled in Aliaga in 2022. However, mainly cruise ships, tankers and various platforms were dismantled in 2022. Stating that they expect more commercial ships to come to dismantling in 2024, Onal said that the slowdown in the global economy and the decline in freight, as well as the EU’s new emission targets, accelerated the dismantling of commercial ships.
Turkey is the only country in the Mediterranean basin where ship recycling activities are carried out as a sector. In the world, 97 percent of ship recycling activities are carried out by 5 countries, including Turkey. In Aliaga, a ship dismantling region, 22 recycling companies operate in 28 parcels. The total recycling capacity of these facilities is approximately 1 million tons. Most of this tonnage is generated by shipyards listed on the EU’s Approved Ship Recycling List. The tonnage of EU flagged ships scrapped annually is approximately 2 million tons. The dismantling capacity of the facilities included in the EU list is 1-1.5 million tons. Other facilities in Aliaga continue their efforts to enter the list.
THREE EUROPEAN COMPANIES QUIT DISMANTLING, TURKEY FILLS THE GAP
The European Commission adopted the 12th edition of the European Ship Recycling Facilities List at its meeting this week. While BMS, Kiliclar and Anadolu ship dismantling facilities from Turkey were entitled to be included in the list, the Commission re-included a shipyard in the USA after 5 years. It also extended the inclusion of a shipyard in Finland and five shipyards in Norway. The new list also removed three facilities in Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway, respectively, as they are no longer in the ship recycling business. The European List currently includes 45 ship recycling facilities, including 35 shipyards in Europe (EU, Norway and the UK), 9 shipyards in Turkey and 1 shipyard in the US. Since December 2018, European ships can be dismantled at facilities included in the Approved Ship Recycling List.