Pakistan has banned vessels from anchoring at its Gaddani ship breaking yard for the next four weeks. The authorities in Balochistan province have imposed a ban on boarding and beaching of all types of ships and oil tankers at Gaddani port located in the province.
Vessels departing from their last port after March 18 will not be allowed entry. Health and safety measures for crew members arriving at Gaddani have also been put in place. Authorities have warned of strict penalties against non-compliance of this ban.
Ship recyclers in Pakistan can resume activities post the period of ban after seeking permits and clearance certificate from the port authorities to anchor their vessels off the coast.
Pakistan has reported 454 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 58 new cases were confirmed in Balochistan as of Friday morning. Balochistan government has declared a state of health emergency and has banned public transport in the province, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran. Many people are returning to Pakistan after a pilgrim in Iran, causing the increased spread of the virus in the country.
Ship breaking industry
Globally, Pakistan ranks fourth in the ship-breaking business. In 2019, Pakistan scrapped 35 ships, behind 236 ship dismantled in Bangladesh and 200 ships in India and 107 in Turkey. The fallback of Pakistani ship-breaking activities is attributed to a lack of policy structure by the government and ship-breakers non-compliance to international safety standards, which has diverted many end-of-life ships to other countries.