SENSREC Bangladesh - Phase I

Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling

The first phase of the Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh project (SENSREC Phase I) was successfully implemented from January 2015 to March 2017, which resulted in economic and environmental studies on ship recycling in Bangladesh, the development of training materials and capacity building plans and a preliminary design for infrastructure including facilities for treatment, storage and disposing of hazardous wastes generated from recycling operations.

Work Packages

The project has been implemented under five work packages covering the following:

  • Two studies assessing the economic and environmental impact of the ship recycling industry in Bangladesh;

  • An assessment of the prevailing conditions and needs for environmentally sound hazardous waste management, including the compilation of a hazardous waste inventory, hazardous waste assessment report and the preliminary infrastructure design and site selection for a hazardous waste storage, treatment and disposal facility;

  • Recommendations on strengthening the Government's One-Stop Service, in which all the various ministries with a responsibility for ship recycling (e.g. Industries, Environment, Labour, Shipping) offer a single point of contact for related matters;

  • A review and upgrade of existing training courses on occupational health, safety and environmental issues and piloting of the new training material; and

  • The development of a detailed project document for a possible follow-up project to implement the recommendations of Phase I.

In the long term the project results are expected to assist the industry to eventually meet the requirements of the Hong Kong International Convention on the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (the Hong Kong Convention), so that the Government of Bangladesh may be in a position to accede to the Convention at an appropriate time.


The total budget for Phase I was US$1,516,275. The principal funding for the project came from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), while the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS)* also supports the project having mobilized some EU funding towards the work package related to the management of hazardous materials, which has been implemented by the BRS.

Stakeholders and Project Partners

The SENSREC project was commenced in January 2015, and by March 2017 most of its deliverable reports were prepared and approved by the Project Steering Committee - a multi-stakeholder committee that plays an advisory role, and provided crucial guidance on all technical components of the project. Following successful completion of Phase I activities, the Norwegian Government represented by the Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka has agreed in-principle to continue its financial support for the capacity building of Bangladesh ship recycling industry through implementing the training materials developed under Phase I, and institutionalising a sustainable training approach for the country's ship recycling workforces. 

The project was executed by the Marine Environment Division of IMO as the implementing and executing agency, in partnership with the Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh that acts as the national executing partner. The MOI coordinated the input from the different stakeholder ministries within the country, and most importantly from the industry represented by the Bangladesh Ship Breakers & Recyclers Association (BSBRA), while IMO also collaborated with other relevant UN agencies including BRS, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to ensure the successful delivery of the project.

IMO established a local project management office hosted within the premises of the MOI, which was responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the local project activities, including regular communication and liaising between IMO and Ministry of Industries. 


The key outcomes of Phase I of the project comprised an assessment of the economic and environmental impacts of the ship recycling industry in Bangladesh; an evaluation of the quantities of different categories of hazardous wastes from the ship recycling and from other localized industries: an initial infrastructure design and costing for the development of a Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) for the environmentally sound management of the hazardous wastes; a recommendation for the refinement of Government One-Stop Service for the industry; development of training material for the workforce in the ship recycling industry; and development of a project document for Phase II of the project. The reports of the SENSREC project can be found under the "SENSREC Deliverables" section to the right of this page.   

During the implementing of the project, the project partners have ensured appropriate wider stakeholder consultations and inputs through an inception workshop, sensitization meetings, dissemination workshop, closure workshop, and a number of meetings of the Project Steering Committee and Project Executive Committee. 

The SENSREC Project was a result of continuous efforts of IMO, the Government of Bangladesh, Norad, BRS and the private sector for a number of years and demonstrated a major commitment from the Government of Bangladesh and the industry to improve safety and environmental standards within this vital industry.

* Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, 1989; Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, 1998; Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 2001.