Alang is a census town in Bhavnagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat. In the past three decades, its beaches have become a major worldwide centre for ship breaking. The longest ship ever built, Seawise Giant, was sailed to and beached here for demolition in December 2009.[1]

Alang, India
Ships anchored at Alang for scrapping, Satellite view, 17 March 2017
Alang, India
Alang, India
Coordinates: 21.412082°N 72.202749°E / 21.412082; 72.202749
  OfficialGujarati, Hindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationGJ

Marine salvage industry

The shipyards at Alang recycle approximately half of all ships salvaged around the world.[2] It is considered the world's largest graveyard of ships.[3] The yards are located on the Gulf of Khambat, 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Bhavnagar. Large supertankers, car ferries, container ships, and a dwindling number of ocean liners are beached during high tide, and as the tide recedes, hundreds of manual laborers move onto the beach to dismantle each ship, salvaging what they can and reducing the rest to scrap.

The salvage yards at Alang have generated controversy about working conditions, workers' living conditions, and the impact on the environment. A major problem was that despite many serious work-related injuries, the nearest full service hospital was 50 km (31 minutes) away in Bhavnagar. In March 2019, a Multi-Speciality Hospital at Alang, Bhavnagar, Gujarat. was inaugurated by Shri Vijay Rupani, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat. This hospital setup by Gujarat Maritime Board will be operated by the Indian Red Cross Society. It will provide immediate medical services.

Clemenceau controversy

Alang became the centre of an international controversy when the Supreme Court of India temporarily prohibited the French aircraft carrier Clemenceau from entering the port in January 2006.[4] Attempts to reach a settlement were unsuccessful, and Clemenceau was sent to a ship-breaking harbour in England instead.


The governments of Japan and Gujarat have mutually agreed to upgrade the existing Alang shipyard. The two parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which focuses on technology transfer and financial assistance from Japan to assist in the upgrading of operations at Alang to meet international standards. This is a part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, a larger partnership between the Japanese and Gujarat government. Under this plan, Japan will address the environmental implications of ship breaking in Alang, and will develop a marketing strategy. The project is to be carried out as a public-private partnership. The project's aim is to make this shipyard the largest International Maritime Organization-compliant ship recycling yard in the world.


As of the 2001 Indian census,[5] Alang had a population of 18,464. Males constitute 82% of the population and females 18%. Alang has an average literacy rate of 62%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 89% of the males and 11% of females literate. 7% of the population is under 6 years of age.

  • On the Road to Alang,[6] a documentary on passenger ships scrapped at Alang, by Peter Knego[7] in 2005.
  • Shipbreakers, documentary on the industry in Alang, by Michael Kot.
  • World War Z, a 2006 novel by Max Brooks, features Alang as a destination for refugees seeking to escape a zombie plague by sea.

Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant

Mithi Virdi (or Viradi) is a proposed site consisting of six reactors with a total capacity of 6,600 MW about 3 kilometres (2 mi) north of the ship breaking beach.[8]

The proposed nuclear plant has faced heavy opposition from the local population. The area around the proposed plant is known for growing some of the highest quality Kesar Mango trees.

See also


  1. "Alang Pin Code". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  2. Langewiesche, William. "The Shipbreakers". August 2000;; Volume 286, No. 2; page 31-49. The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  3. "5 killed in Alang Port Shipbreaking yard blast in Gujarat". IANS. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  4. "Stay out, India tells toxic ship". BBC News. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2007.
  5. "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  6. "On The Road To Alang". Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  7. "Peter Knego". Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  8. Centre seeks to settle nuclear deal dust
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