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Alang Ship Breaking Yard: The World’s Largest Ship Recycling Hub

Located in the Gulf of Cambay in the Indian near Bhavnagar, state of Gujarat, the Alang Ship Breaking Yard is the largest ship recycling center in the world. It is an area of about 10 kilometers on the shore of the Arabian Sea where ships are dismantled, and their parts are reused or recycled. This shipyard has been in operation for more than three decades and has contributed significantly to the economic growth of the region. However, the ship breaking industry has also attracted criticism due to its environmental and human rights implications.

Alang Ship Breaking Yard Bhavnagar

The Ship Breaking Industry:

The ship breaking industry is the process of dismantling ships and reusing or recycling their components. The industry has grown rapidly over the past few decades due to the increasing demand for scrap metal and other reusable materials. According to the International Maritime Organization, approximately 90% of the world’s merchant ships are dismantled and recycled in developing countries. These countries provide cheap labor and lax environmental and safety regulations.

Alang Ship Breaking Yard:

The Alang Ship Breaking Yard is one of the most prominent ship breaking yards in the world. It covers an area of approximately 10 kilometers and has more than 150 yards that are licensed to carry out ship breaking activities. The yard employs over 50,000 workers, and more than 200 ships are broken down annually.

The ship breaking process begins when a ship reaches the end of its useful life, becomes obsolete, or is damaged beyond repair. The ship is then towed to the ship breaking yard, where it is beached and dismantled. The process involves the removal of all hazardous materials, such as asbestos and oil, before the dismantling process begins. The ship is then cut into sections, and the parts are segregated and reused or recycled.

Environmental Impact:

The ship breaking industry has attracted significant criticism due to its environmental implications. The process involves the release of hazardous materials, such as asbestos and oil, into the environment. These materials can have long-term impacts on the health of workers and the surrounding communities. In addition, the process of beaching and dismantling ships can damage the marine ecosystem, leading to water and air pollution.

Safety Measures:

The ship breaking industry has also been criticized for its poor safety record. The process involves a high degree of risk for workers, who are often exposed to hazardous materials and dangerous machinery. In response to these concerns, the Indian government has introduced safety regulations to protect workers and the environment. These regulations include the mandatory use of protective gear, the provision of medical facilities, and the requirement of safety training.

Labour Conditions:

The ship breaking industry is known for its poor working conditions, low wages, and long working hours. Workers are often employed on a casual basis and are not provided with social security benefits. The industry is also known for the exploitation of child labor, which has been banned in India but still occurs. In response to these concerns, labor rights organizations have called for the improvement of working conditions and the provision of social security benefits.

Tourism at Alang Ship Breaking Yard:

In addition to being a hub for ship breaking and recycling, the Alang Ship Breaking Yard has also become a popular destination for tourists looking to purchase old or unique items. Visitors can find a variety of items for sale, including ship parts, furniture, and even antique artifacts. Many of these items are sold at a fraction of their original cost, making them attractive to bargain hunters and collectors.

Tourists interested in purchasing items from the Alang Ship Breaking Yard can either visit the yard themselves or work with a local dealer who can source items on their behalf. Those who choose to visit the yard should be aware that it can be a hazardous environment and should take appropriate safety precautions.

Open Shops at Alang for Tourist:

It is important to note that before the ships are broken down, they are first stripped of all valuable and reusable items. These items are then brought to the open spaces within the ship breaking yard called plots. Here, the items are sorted and sold to the general public and tourists.

Each plot specializes in selling a specific type of item, such as furniture, crockery, small ships, generators and heavy machinery, wood, electric wires, pipes, home appliances, and more. This allows buyers to easily locate the items they are interested in purchasing.

By purchasing items from the plots instead of the ship breaking yard, tourists can avoid the potential hazards associated with the ship breaking process. It also provides a way for buyers to acquire unique and rare items while supporting the local economy.

In recent years, efforts have been made to promote sustainable tourism in the region. Organizations have been working to create alternative livelihood opportunities for workers and promote eco-friendly tourism practices. These efforts aim to create a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry that benefits both the local community and the environment. Additionally, visitors should be respectful of the workers and the environment, and follow all safety guidelines and regulations.


The Alang Ship Breaking Yard is the largest ship recycling center in the world, providing a significant contribution to the economic growth of the region. Today Alang is also attracting tourists and visitors to witness the largest ship breaking yard and shopping for unique items.

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