Norway Fines Shipping Firm $750,000 For Illegally Exporting Ships To India For Scrapping

Ship breaking
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Four years after raiding the offices of the shipping firm earlier known as Teekay Offshore, Norway’s regulators imposed a fine of about $750,000 for unlawfully exporting two vessels to India for scrapping.

The firm is today called Altera Infrastructure and continues disputing these allegations, stating that it hasn’t received justifications and replies from the Norwegian National Authority of Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim).

The two vessels were shuttle tankers operating in the North Sea, ferrying oil from the relatively bigger ocean-going tankers to designated terminals.

Økokrim contends that for commercial purposes, the highest operating age of the North Sea shuttle tankers is about 20 years.

Both vessels had been exported for scrap since they approached the 20-year timeline.

Both vessels were constructed in 1998, and when they were retired, they were registered with Panama.

The 124,000 dwt Navion Britannia departed Norway in March 2018 and sailed to India.

The 127,000 dwt Alexita Spirit departed four months later, in July of 2018. Both were beached in India to be dismantled.

The following year, Teekay pointed out that in 2017, it recycled four vessels at recycling hubs in India that had been verified to be compliant with the Hong Kong Convention.

Before choosing the facilities, they audited the yards to make sure they could meet the stringent standards.

Besides, throughout the recycling phase, which generally takes about 6 to 8 months, the staff monitors HSEQ performance and visits regularly to perform examinations and provide skills training to enhance the yard’s safety and sustainability performance, the firm said in a release published on its website.

Økokrim is calling scrapping on the beach, similar to what is done at Alang, India, a vast global environmental issue.

They highlighted the environmental concerns related to pollution due to heavy metals and similar hazardous substances.

Norwegian law needs firms to get approval to transport vessels outside the nation as waste.

Økokrim takes a view of export of Norwegian-operated obsolete vessels and associated wastes and environmental issues to developing nations with weaker legislation and law enforcement than Norway, stated Maria Bache Dah, the police prosecutor of Økokrim.

They also added that they had offered the firm a briefing about the investigation’s findings.

A spokesperson associated with the firm responded to media requests claiming that the vessels were offered for further services.

They contend that the company spent a year looking for further service and expected the vessels to have a new life.

Steffen Rogen, Altera’s spokesperson, disagrees and says the company strongly believes that neither allegation has a factual basis.

He further stated that they also demand the background and the basis for claims.

The firm cooperated after Økokrim raided the offices based in Stavanger in 2020.

The dispute highlights the problems the shipowners encounter when disposing of end-of-life, obsolete vessels.

There are merely a handful of recognized facilities dedicated to recycling, and this will become more challenging as the Hong Kong Convention enters full force following its 2023 ratification.

The yards based in Asia are primarily unapproved by the EU for disposal.

Altera spun off from Teekay in 2020 (March), emerging as a public-traded infrastructure firm.

Under Norwegian guidelines, the firm has two weeks to consider whether they will accept the fine.

Reference: TradeWind

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About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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