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Wednesday, October 17, 2018


The Ttotal number of active shipbreakers in Pakistan is now only about 20-25 and each breaker holds some two to four yards.

Pakistan has been in the scrapping market for almost 30 years, and no explosion or serious accident has occurred so far. There are some 80 breaking yards operating at Gadani (a beach of about 12/15km, some 50km from Karachi). Each yard has an approximately 265 ft width waterfront and 650ft depth, which can easily accommodate at least one VLCC or two smaller vessels.  The scrapping volume in Pakistan has varied between 100,000-600,000 ldt (light replacement tonnes) since 1993.

According to Pakistani sources, there are no particular bottlenecks with regard to the breaking of tankers. The government allows the import of tankers gas-free for entry. Gas freeing for hot works is carried out at the yards themselves under the supervision government surveyors. Actual cutting is not allowed until the ministry surveyor is fully satisfied regarding cleaning etc. and issues a gas-free certificate. There are no credit restrictions at present; almost all the existing breakers can import VLCC/tankers without problems. Banks are said to be supportive, usually issuing LCS, which intermediary/cash buyers should be able to handle, although some European based cash/intermediary buyers may not too comfortable with it considering Pakistan’s financial stability and credit worthiness in the international financial market.

A VLCC may take about 60-90 days for complete break-up (out of water), depending on local market demand. The break-up of tankers of 80-200,000 dwt may take a maximum of 45-60 days to complete. Depending on favourable market conditions, Pakistan can import up to 20-25 VLCCs per year.