Located in a far off region of Balochistan is the world’s third-largest graveyard of ships known as “the Gadani ship-breaking yard.” With over 132 operational ship-breaking plots, Gadani remained the world’s largest ship-breaking yard until the 1980s, after which the title was taken over by Alang in Gujarat India. So, let’s talk a little about the history of the ship-breaking industry in Pakistan.
History of the Gadani Ship-Breaking Yard
The history of the Gadani ship-breaking yard is as old as the history of the ship-breaking industry in Pakistan as it is the oldest and only graveyard of ships in the country. Well, it all began a few decades ago when a massive cyclone struck the coasts of the Arabian Sea. The devastating effects of this natural calamity were visible on the far off coastal areas of Balochistan as the wreckage of ships were washed ashore.
Things took a dramatic turn when an entire unmanned vessel was found washed up near Gadani Seafront. Later on, this battered ship was broken apart and its pieces were loaded and transported to other parts of the country. This incident laid the foundation of ship-breaking yard in Gadani.
Quick Facts About the Ship-Breaking Yard of Gadani
Let’s take a quick look at some interesting facts about the ship-breaking yard of Gadani.
- The foundation of ship-breaking yard in Gadani was laid in the pre-independence era.
- Up till the era of the 1980s, it was considered the largest graveyard of ships in the world.
- The ship-breaking yard of Gadani is found 50-kilometre northwest of the city of Karachi.
- Millions of tonnes of steel is salvaged and sold domestically with the help of this yard.
- Running at full capacity, the ship-breaking yard at Gadani can dismantle up to 125 ships annually.
Location of the Gadani Ship-Breaking Yard
The location of the Gadani ship-breaking yard adds to the eminence of this place. The yard is situated along the 10-kilometre long Gadani beachfront, which can be conveniently accessed by Gadani Beach Road. As stated above, this graveyard of ships in Balochistan is around 50 kilometres Northwest to the metropolitan area of Karachi.
More About Gadani Beach
Gadani Beach is one of the most popular beaches near Karachi. A whole lot of picnickers mostly from Karachi and other nearby cities visit this picnic spot in Balochistan usually on weekends. The beach is famous for its crystal clear waters and beautiful sandy shores. Like other beaches in and around Karachi, Gadani Beach also offers different types of fun activities like camel riding, boating and fishing. Due to its proximity to the ship-breaking yard in Gadani, one can easily spot shipwrecks from the beach.
Why Gadani Was Chosen for the Dismantling of Ships in the First Place?
The topography of Gadani makes it one of the best places in Pakistan for the dismantling of ships. Due to the rapid transition between shallow and deep ships can be easily brought to the beach area regardless of high or low tides.
Salvaged Materials: Scrap Iron, Steel and Wood
One of the most important reasons why the ship-breaking industry in Pakistan is considered a highly lucrative industry is the extraction of some really valuable materials such as wood and steel in bulk quantities at a very low cost. As mentioned earlier in the blog, the ship-breaking yard at Gadani can dismantle over 100 ships yearly, which means a cost-effective supply of scrap iron and steel for the metal industries in Pakistan.
When the ship is dismantled at Gadani, the amount of steel it produces on average is around 1.2 to 1.5 million tonnes, making it the largest ship-breaking yard in Pakistan. However, this figure doesn’t include an additional amount of around 25 tonnes recycled wood. This process saves the cost of billions of rupees that are usually spent on the imports of these materials.
Note: The ship-breaking in Gadani has been temporarily discontinued by the Balochistan Development Authority. The authorities are planning to make the Gadani ship-breaking yard operational soon after incorporating improved safety measures.
How long Does The Whole Process of Ship-Breaking At Gadani Take?
A ship has a life of 20-30 years on average. Not to mention, ship-breaking is the only way that can be used for disposing of an end-of-life vessel. Ships of different sizes and types come to Gadani Beach at the last stage of their life. The process of ship-breaking in Gadani can take weeks or even months, depending on the size of the vessel.
All these exciting facts make the Gadani ship-breaking yard a perfect place to be visited by adventure seekers and history buffs.
This was a complete overview of the largest ship-breaking yard in Pakistan. If you have any questions or feedback regarding any of our blogs, email us at email@example.com.
On a side note, you can take a look at one of our previous blogs in which we have given you a complete overview of Port Qasim, Karachi – one of the largest ports in Asia.
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