Maersk Helping the World’s Largest Ship Breaking Town To Clean Up


According to an article published in Economist, the World’s Largest Shipbreaking town Alang in India is under pressure to clean up and shipping giant Maersk is helping it in this process.

About Alang

How do you make a 10,000-tonne container ship disappear? At Alang, a small town in Gujarat, on the western coast of India, it happens regularly. At roadside stalls on its outskirts, shopkeepers sell furniture together with lifeboats; washing machines alongside emergency flares. Nearer the town, stalls give way to warehouses and enormous open-air yards; cranes stretch to the horizon. Ships that look like Lego sets being dismantled sit on a stretch of beach.

Alang is the world’s biggest ship-breaking town.

  • Almost a third of all retired vessels—at least 200 each year—are sent to be broken up here, at over 100 different yards stretching along 10km of sand.
  • The industry employs some 20,000 people, almost all men who migrate from the poorer states of India’s northern Hindi-speaking belt.
  • Taxes paid by breakers generate huge sums for the state government.

Yet it is a dangerous industry for its workers and a filthy one in environmental terms. So, the Danish shipping giant Maersk is trying to lift safety and environmental standards at Indian yards

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Source: The Economist


  1. To my mind it is a slap on our face. India is not any begging bowl nation. What is our central and state government doing? This industry is in existence for number of years at the same place. India being party to IMO conventions and the recycling convention is already made and laid down all the procedures to be followed.
    If the state government is getting so much of returns from this industry in that case what is stopping the state government investing requisite amount of money to clean up the area both in terms of safety as well as enviornment.
    Both Ministry of steel and Ministry of shipping of Govt of India must take note of it and act immediately before we have to cut a sorry figure at IMO


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