Norwegian tanker owner Stolt Tankers, a tanker shipping arm of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, has sold two handy chemical parcel tankers for demolition in India.
The two ships are 38,800 DWT Stolt Topaz and 38,700 DWT Stolt Aquamarine, built in 1986 by South Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), according to the data from VesselsValue.
The duo follows two previous tankers that were recycled during the first quarter of 2016 and were also sent to India for scrap.
India has again become the favorite final destination for end of life ships, especially for EU-based owners. According to a report from NGO Shipbreaking Platform, some 68 ships sold to South Asia’s substandard beaching yards in the first quarter of 2016 were owned by EU owners, with Greek owners topping the list with 40 ships sold to South Asian breakers, followed by German owners with 16 ships.
The focus on India is further heightened as Danish shipping giant Maersk voices plans to send its first two ships, the Maersk Wyoming and the Maersk Georgia, to India’s Shree Ram yard in Alang for recycling.
The move follows Maersk Group’s announcement of its long-term commitment to create more responsible recycling options in Alang, India, as well as help the ship recycling yard to upgrade facilities and practices as the group eyes cost reductions for its ship recycling.
However, upgrading beaching yards in Alang, India is the wrong approach to solving the issue of substandard shipbreaking activities, says NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s Executive Director Patrizia Heidegger, stressing that shipowners should instead invest in modern ship recycling facilities off the beach.
The start of the year proved to be a strong quarter for Stolt Tankers, helped by a continued strong spot market and low bunker costs. The company reported an operating profit of USD 31.2 million, compared with USD 35.4 million, reflecting the impact of fewer operating days in the first quarter.
World Maritime News Staff