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For the village in Iran, see Alang, Iran.
Alang is located in Gujarat
Coordinates: 21°24′43″N 72°12′10″E / 21.412082°N 72.202749°E / 21.412082; 72.202749Coordinates: 21°24′43″N 72°12′10″E / 21.412082°N 72.202749°E / 21.412082; 72.202749
Country India
State Gujarat
District Bhavnagar
Population (2001)
 • Total 18,464
 • Official Gujarati, Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 364081

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]

Marine salvage industry[edit]

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 kilometres 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 labourers 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. One major problem is that despite many serious work-related injuries, the nearest full service hospital is 50 kilometres away in Bhavnagar.

SS Norway awaits the ship breakers at Alang, August, 2007

Clemenceau controversy[edit]

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.


Japan and the Gujarat government have joined hands 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 Organisation-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.

Alang in popular culture[edit]

  • Shipbreakers, Age of Iron (short film) - documentaries on the industry in Alang, was produced by Michael Kot in 2004.
  • On the Road to Alang,[6] a documentary on passenger ships scrapped at Alang, was produced by Peter Knego[7] in 2005.
  • The shipyard described in the Iain Banks novel The Business was possibly modelled on a shipyard at Alang.[citation needed]
  • In the Max Brooks zombie apocalypse novel World War Z, Alang is described by one of the survivors as a place of incredible confusion and panic. People attempted to board ships that were being broken in order to escape from the threat of the zombies, but did not take into consideration the state of the ships they were fleeing to, resulting in deaths by the thousands.
  • Its workers are featured in the film, Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers
  • In William Langewiesche's book "outlaw sea" he deals with ship breaking in Alang in the book's final chapter, "on the beach".
  • The fictional ship breaking town in the 'Third World of the Antares system' from futurama is partially based on Alang

Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant[edit]

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[edit]


  1. ^ "Alang Pin Code". Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  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. 2006-01-06. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  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 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  6. ^ On The Road To Alang
  7. ^ Peter Knego
  8. ^ Centre seeks to settle nuclear deal dust

External links[edit]