|Jaap van Dorp
Geregistreerd op: 2-7-2005
Woonplaats: Brewster, New York, USA
|Geplaatst: Do Feb 16, 2006 3:44 am Onderwerp: ss Norway gaat naar BanglaDesh voor sloop
Protests as Bangladeshi buys asbestos laden ship
Wed Feb 15, 6:46 AM ET
A Bangladeshi scrap merchant said he had bought a famed ocean liner
crammed with asbestos for 12 million dollars, sparking protests from
environmentalists and a warning from the government it will not allow
the vessel to be broken up here.
"I have finalised the deal (for the SS Norway) but I have not yet made
the payment because of a dollar crisis in the local market," Haji
Lokman Hossain, owner of a scrapyard near Chittagong in southern
Bangladesh, said Wednesday.
"If I can buy the ship, I will take measures to destroy all hazardous
materials and toxic gas," he added.
News of the deal prompted dozens of environmentalists to form a human
chain in Chittagong to protest the move to dismantle the ship at
Hossain's Giri Subedar Ship Breaking Yard at nearby Sitakundu.
Global environmental group Greenpeace has included the SS Norway on a
watchlist of 50 vessels, which it fears will not be decontaminated
before being scrapped. It says the French workers who built the ship
claim it contains 1,250 tonnes of material that contains asbestos.
The Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association Wednesday served legal
notices in the capital Dhaka on relevant government agencies in a bid
to halt the ship being brought into Bangladesh's territorial waters.
"We served the legal notice after the documents that we've collected
indicate that the the Giri Ship Breaking company has bought the ship
and it is now on its way to the company's scrap yard," lawyer Rizwana
The government has already said it will not allow the ship to be
broken up in Bangladesh as it might cause loss of life and
"We've told Haji Lokman who has reportedly bought the asbestos-laden
ship not to bring it into Bangladesh waters as it can kill workers,"
the government's environment director, Mosharraf Hossain, told AFP on
"He has to dispose of the hazardous waste elsewhere first and only
then will we allow the ship to be dismantled in the ship breaking
yards," Hossain said.
An inter-ministerial meeting was to be held Wednesday to discuss ways
to keep the ship away from Bangladeshi waters, an environment ministry
Greenpeace late last month warned the ship breakers here about the
move by a Bangladeshi scrap merchant to buy the huge asbestos-laden
ship, the president of the Bangladesh Ship Breaking Association, Jafor
"We will resist its entry and dismantling in our yards at any cost.
Otherwise the whole industry would be badly affected," he added.
Ship breaking yards in Bangladesh dismantle up to 80 ships, mostly oil
tankers, a year. Operating on beaches at Sitakundu, they indirectly
employ some 300,000 people.
The fate of the SS Norway, once the most glamorous ship on the seas,
has been the subject of much speculation since May when it was towed
from a German port where it was consigned after a 2003 boiler
Launched in 1960 as the SS France, the 11-storey ocean liner is now
docked in open waters off the Malaysian coast.
When the France was launched by the wife of then-president Charles De
Gaulle on May 11 1960, it was, at 313 metres (1,027 feet) long, the
biggest liner in the world.
The Queen Mary 2 currently holds the record at 345 metres (1,132 feet)
The vessel was sold in 1979 to Norwegian Cruise Line and renamed. It
was kept at the German port of Bremerhaven at a cost of around 500,000
dollars a month after the 2003 explosion in Miami, Florida, which
killed eight crew.