In November 2017, Maersk received the results of an environmental analysis performed at the Shree Ram Yard in Alang. Conducted by an independent research company, the water was tested for the presence of 18 substances.
Sixteen of these substances are referenced in the Hong Kong convention and EU regulations. The remaining two were included in the analysis based on stakeholder opinions.
Most substances below allowed levels
The results are based on water samples, which were benchmarked against PNEC levels. PNEC is a scientific term for the concentration of a chemical which marks the limit below which no adverse effect on an ecosystem will occur. For the vast majority of substances, the prevalence was below PNEC levels, with the exception of traces in oil, metals and TBT (a substance widely used in anti-fouling paints in the past).
The analysis concludes that the oil does not stem from the beaching and cutting process itself – it would be spilled or dumped in the intertidal zone when moving blocks or engines. The yards Maersk uses are all in the process of eliminating contact with the intertidal zone, and oil discharges would only occur as a result of an accidental spill.
In 2017, there were zero spills at these yards. Regarding TBT, Maersk vessels are verified as fully compliant with the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships. An analysis of the antifouling paint used confirmed that our tested vessel was TBT-free and the traces present in the environment originated from other sources.
The analysis also determined that, based on the sampling method used, it is not possible to conclude if and to what extent Maersk’s activities contribute to the levels of metals measured. However, both discharge issues and problems with isolating potential pollution stemming from current cutting procedures and from historical pollution will be similar in yards in China and Turkey.
We will continue work to understand this impact better in all three locations.