An unknown offshore player has provided some much-needed tonnage to the Indian ship recycling sector in the form of a giant drill ship.

The 70,000-dwt unit in question arrived at Alang on Monday under the name Ambur. It was towed from the Indonesian port of Batam after being sold for an undisclosed price.

Although launched in 2017 at a Jurong Aracruz Shipyard in Brazil, now part of Singapore’s Seatrium, the vessel was never completed after Sete International cancelled the original $806m contract.

TradeWinds understands from ship recycling sources that the shipbuilder later sold the incomplete hulk to an Indian company that towed it to Batam for completion, but it eventually abandoned the project and left the ship languishing in lay-up while trying to find a trading buyer.

Last Voyage DMCC, a Dubai-based cash buyer, was the only company to show any interest, acquiring the ship in December. It left Batam for India under tow at the end of March while Last Voyage negotiated a final scrap sale with Alang-based recycling facilities.

The Ambur’s final voyage got off to a difficult start when it was boarded by four robbers, using a small fishing boat, while passing Pisang Island in the Strait of Malacca.

According to multilateral agreement Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, the robbers fled the Ambur after the tug towing the vessel sounded the alarm and a Malaysian coastguard ship arrived.

Nothing was stolen from the drill ship.

While Alang prepares to demolish the Ambur, ship recycling activity in Chattogram has been severely impacted by a severe heatwave hovering over Bangladesh that has seen temperatures soar above 4C.

With the relentless heat expected to increase over the next week, authorities in Bangladesh have extended school and college closures until 27 April. Universities have also indefinitely postponed classes, while hospitals report increases in heat-related illnesses.

Recycling yard employees who work outdoors using oxyacetylene torches face the brunt of the heat. Work has been severely affected as shift lengths have been cut and, at many yards, work stops completely during the afternoon.

However, the heat has not dampened the buying enthusiasm of Bangladesh’s ship recyclers. An undisclosed yard in Chattogram is listed in the latest market reports as having bought Sinopec Offshore’s 12,240-bhp anchor-handling tug supply vessel Dong Fang Yong Shi 2 (built 1983) for an undisclosed price.

Recycling sources say that while scrap prices remain stable and buying interest is strong, the market is suffering from a lack of available tonnage.

The only other deal reported for the past week was Spirit of Africa Shipping’s 750-teu container ship Border (built 1993), which was sold to cash buyers on an “as is” basis in Durban for $454 per ldt, or $2.6m.

Spirit of Africa Shipping is affiliated with German KG (limited partnership) company Tom Worden. The Border was most recently operated on charter to Ocean Africa Container Lines of South Africa.