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How to be green and recycle

As any shipowner knows, when a vessel’s revenue earning capacity drops too far there is only one realistic option, which is to sell the vessel for recycling.

Why ship recycling?

Ships are acquired by shipbreakers for their intended resale value, in the form of their machinery, fittings and ferrous and non-ferrous content; however scrapping a ship is highly energy and labour intensive and is only undertaken on a large scale in four countries: namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.

The impetus for an enforceable international standard

The current principal international regime covering the exporting of waste is the Basel Convention1. This convention provides the framework for the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and their disposal and all EU member states have ratified it through the EU Waste Shipments Regulation2 (the WSR).

The applicability of the Basel Convention/WSR to the export of end of life ships is, however, a matter that has been of debate.

The Hong Kong Convention3

In response to these concerns the IMO charged the Marine Environment Pollution Committee to develop a more workable legislative framework, leading in May 2009 to the holding of a diplomatic conference in Hong Kong at which 63 States, including the key recycling states, flag states, and as observers the European Commission and important NGOs all participated.

This conference led to the signature of the Hong Kong Convention, which aims for the complete and exclusive ‘marinisation’ of the inspection, survey, permission and policing of the process of the recycling of ships and their disposal: a process which is currently the responsibility of environmental agencies founded on land-based export criteria4.

It will do away with the concept of ‘export and import’ and instead impose responsibility for the surveying and certification of the vessel on the vessel’s flag state obliging it to certify that the ship recycling plan has been duly authorised by the relevant agency in the recycling state5, imposing on such states the responsibility for the licensing of the relevant recycling facilities.

Under the Convention the hazardous materials on a vessel will need to be identified throughout its working life and not just at the time it is scrapped. It also prohibits the installation or use of Hazardous Materials6 on both new and existing ships.

The process of implementation and ratification

The Convention will not take effect until it has received the support of a sufficient number of both high volume, ship operating and ship recycling states.

European Ship Recycling Policy

Following the signature of the Hong Kong convention, the European Commission produced the EU Ship Recycling Regulation7 (the SRR).

The SRR purports to bring into EU law the following principles for ships flying the flag of EU Member States:

  1. Ships will have to establish and maintain an inventory of hazardous materials (IHM).
  2. Ships will have to be dismantled “in safe and environmentally sound ship recycling facilities”.
  3. The amount of hazardous waste on board will have to be minimised and other steps taken to prepare for recycling prior to delivery to a recycling facility.

The ‘European List’ and application

A “European list of ship recycling facilities” that are acceptable will be prepared and all EU flagged ships will have to be recycled in facilities that are on this list.

The SRR has already entered into force but will not be applicable until the earlier of 31 December 2018 and the date which is 6 months after the EU Commission has approved a sufficient number of Ship Recycling Facilities. In April 2016 the European Commission issued ‘Technical Guidance’ for facilities seeking approval.

The effect of the SRR

While the SRR is directed to those ships flying the flag of EU member states, Article 12 will, when it comes into force, require any ship that is present in European waters to have in place a current and compliant IHM.

Where to go from here

There are standard contract forms, in particular the BIMCO ‘Recyclecon’ form, which can accommodate the concerns of the owner in relation to ship recycling. However, ship recycling is for many, an unfamiliar area and the guidance of an experienced professional adviser is recommended.

Source: lexology

Rise of high-end log homes

“Common problems with any house is moisture absorption, termites and the general wear-and-tear of the house. But with a log house, one does not have to worry about that as moisture absorption is restricted with the design of the logs,” he says.

Find sales opportunities in your market

Also, the log homes are water-resistant.

The suppliers also kiln-dry the wood to remove all the moisture from it, thus preventing termites from breeding.

Honka Group also suppliers the door and windows or home owners can opt to fit their own that suits their style.

Prices of log homes are about 30 per cent more than the conventional brick-and-mortar house due to the shipping costs and bringing in a team from Finland to assemble, Mr Kanabar says.

Log houses are built on a level surface which means those on a sloppy land require a concrete platform to make it level thereby making it a basement floor.

“We have experimented with various log designs such as square and round logs and have found that the square logs are more popular as they do not collect as much dust as round ones,” says Mr Kanabar, adding that the maintenance costs are just like for standard houses.

To re-apply vanish on the wood or paint it a different colour, one only needs to sand it down and apply a coat of linseed oil and UV protect, then vanish or colour it.

He gives the example of Finland where most houses are built of logs therefore people paint them in various colours to differentiate them. Most Kenyans, however, prefer the natural look which is unique and blends with the environment.

Design

Othaya Group works closely with architectural firm Block45, in designing the structures to ensure viability of the houses they build. Mr Kanabar says designing the log homes takes longer.

“The architects liaise with the clients in order to get their specifications, then they design the house which is sent to Honka where changes are imposed in order to make it a log house,” he says.

The design is then sent back for approval by the client, structural engineer and architect before the manufacturing process starts in Finland.

The long process ensures all the specifications are right since the houses are made of pre-fabricated logs which makes it hard to make structural changes once the pieces are cut and shipped.

“Once the suppliers get the designs, the pieces are custom-made to fit in their place according to the design of the house and sent with a QR code to place each log in its unique place,’’ says Mr Kanabar.

A team from Finland then comes to assemble the house as it is not as simple as staking the logs together.

Pricing

The QR code helps them know where each logs should be placed as a lot of the electrical fixtures and plumbing are all drilled in the log during manufacturing to avoid visible wires and pipes.

The interior design and finishing is done on ground according to as clients’ specifications, but there are certain finishings one cannot apply to log houses.

Mr Kanabar says an average log house can last for hundreds of years with regular maintenance of the wood.

“Common problems with any house is moisture absorption, termites and the general wear-and-tear of the house. But with a log house, one does not have to worry about that as moisture absorption is restricted with the design of the logs,” he says.

Also, the log homes are water-resistant.

The suppliers also kiln-dry the wood to remove all the moisture from it, thus preventing termites from breeding.

Honka Group also suppliers the door and windows or home owners can opt to fit their own that suits their style.

Prices of log homes are about 30 per cent more than the conventional brick-and-mortar house due to the shipping costs and bringing in a team from Finland to assemble, Mr Kanabar says.
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How to use product life cycle analysis to your advantage. (David Baggs)

Source: businessdailyafrica


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Opinion: If Africans Don’t Exploit Opportunities In African Logistics, Foreigners Will

Global logistics and transportation firms have expanded operations in Africa despite infrastructure challenges — or because of them — in a sector that holds huge potential and opportunities for investors, according to a guest column in AfricaTimes by entrepreneur and legal consultant Erukilede Julius.

The shipping numbers speak to the positive outlook for Africa’s logistics business, said Charles Brewer, managing director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, a leading logistics company. In light of the economic pressure Europe is experiencing, DHL’s dependency on Europe has been reduced, while Intra-Africa trade has picked up significantly, Brewer said.

E-commerce has helped to grow African logistics business. More Africans are buying online rather than at physical shops. The size of the outsourced logistics market in Africa has grown by 38.4 percent in the last four years.

But sub-Saharan Africa remains a challenging frontier for many companies, despite recent growth and investment in the sector, according to the 2016 Agility Emerging Market Logistics Index report. More than 43 percent of the 1,100 global logistics industry executives surveyed said they have no plans to set up in Africa; 21.2 percent said their companies have operations in the region. Another 12.7 percent said they plan to enter African markets.

Africa probably isn’t the best destination for companies looking for fast returns, Julius said. For businesses with a long view, it holds huge potential. “The continent needs better transport infrastructure, more connectivity across borders, and an improved business environment.”

Other than South Africa’s relatively developed transport and logistics infrastructure, African countries are struggling. Roads are the most common mode of transport, but are poorly developed. Regional road and rail networks are few and far between. Just 27.6 percent of Africa’s 2 million kilometres of roads are paved, according to a 2008 report by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Of those paved roads, 19 percent are in sub-Saharan Africa, versus 27 percent in Latin America and 43 percent in South Asia. Just fixing the existing thousands of kilometers of roads that need attention will require huge investment.

Absence of good roads makes transportation and logistics expensive in Africa. Transport costs throughout Africa average 14 percent of the value of exports compared to 8.6 percent in all developing countries, and can be as high as 50 percent of export value for Africa’s 15 landlocked countries –56 percent for Malawi, 52 percent for Chad, and 48 percent for Rwanda, according to the OECD report.

Moving goods across borders can cost official and unofficial fees that amount to extortion.

In Africa, it takes 39 days to export a container of goods including documentation, inland travel, customs clearance, and port or terminal handling compared to 26 days in East Asia or 15 days in high-income OECD countries, according to World Bank’s Doing Business report. Shipping costs an average $2,201 per container compared to the median estimate of $864 for East and Pacific Asia countries.

This is where businesses with long-term strategies can get rich. Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are the most promising logistics markets in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2016 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.

Transportation and logistics of food and agri-business will be key, according to Analytiqa.  Facilitating this trade will require improvements in cold-storage services.

“There is a huge amount of optimism from (third-party logistics providers) about the future of logistics markets across Africa, as economic growth drives stronger consumer demand and creates higher market attractiveness for retailers and manufacturers alike,” said Analytiqa research director Mark O’Bornick.

If Africans don’t identify these opportunities and take advantage of them, foreigners will, Julius said.

Source: afkinsider


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