Ship Breaking and the Steel Industry in Bangladesh: A Material Flow Perspective

Mohammad Sujauddin, Ryu Koide, Takahiro Komatsu, Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, Chiharu Tokoro, Shinsuke Murakami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Bangladesh has emerged as a leading ship breaking nation. We conducted a material flow analysis of steel in Bangladesh with an emphasis on the ship breaking industry (SBI). The total aggregate domestic steel consumption in fiscal year (FY) 2010 was 2,930,000 tonnes (t) in Bangladesh; SBI met approximately 51% of the demand for raw materials and 37% of the demand for finished steel products. Rolling industries output in FY2010 was 1,451,000 t; 23% of the input for this production was from ship breaking sources. Dismantled ships also generate high-quality reusable steel scraps. SBI was found to be the sole source of scraps for small rerolling industries in Bangladesh, and their output in 2008 more than doubled as compared to 2005. Larger rolling industries fulfilled their input needs for steel scraps by using both SBI and imported materials. We found a sharp increase in input imports during the global ship breaking recession in 2003–2007 and when Bangladesh's SBI faced a temporary ban in 2010. Induction furnaces in Bangladesh in FY2010 produced a total of 787,000 t of billets; more than 40% was from ship-sourced scraps. In 2008, the country's steel consumption was 3,220,000 t, that is, 22 kilograms per person, and the intensity of steel use was 40 grams per U.S. dollar, which was much higher than that of other developing countries with a similar per capita gross domestic product (GDP). The country exhibited a high level of steel consumption relative to its GDP, which is indicative of the contribution of SBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Bangladesh
  • industrial ecology
  • intensity of use
  • material flow analysis (MFA)
  • ship breaking industry
  • steel recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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