Shipbreaking plays an important role in the national economy for a number of reasons:
1. Production of steel:
the scrapping of ships provides the country’s main source of steel and in doing so saves substantial amount of money in foreign exchange by reducing the need to import steel materials.
At present Bangladesh has a demand for 50,0000 tons of metal / steels, but Bangladesh has no iron ore sources or mines, which make ship scrapping is the inevitable and important source of raw materials.
More than 350 re-rolling mills have been using ship scraps as their raw materials. The industry is currently supplying more than 60 per cent of the raw materials for local steel industry. Besides, local shipbuilding industry also largely depends on this as raw materials mostly are being used from scrap steel.
A good number of local industries including heavy and light engineering already been developed depending on ship breaking industry
2. In some ways it can be considered a “green industry”. Almost everything on the ship and the ship itself is recycled, reused and resold. The scrapping of ships supplies raw materials to steel mills, steel plate re-manufacturing, asbestos re-manufacturing as well as providing furniture, paint, electrical equipment and lubricants, oil to the number of businesses that have spouted up specifically as a result.
3. It generates large amounts of revenue for various Government authorities through the payment of taxes. Every year the Government collects 1000,00,00,000 Taka in revenue from the shipbreaking industry through import duty, yards tax and other taxes.
4. Employment. Despite the conditions that the workers are employed under, this is an industry that employs more than 50,000 people directly while another 0.1 million people are involved indirectly. It provides employment for some of the poorest people from the north of Bangladesh who would otherwise have no employment.
These mainly economic benefits have made shipbreaking a powerful industry. But these economic benefits should be considered together with the social and environmental costs. Together, with better regulation shipbreaking can also bring social and environmental benefits.