25 May 2012

Undignified end to Iron Monarch?

The tireless MV Iron Monarch will be beached in India and sold for scrap in what appears to be a sad end for the famous steel-carrier, online reports claim.

The former BlueScope Steel workhorse is likely to be destroyed at shipbreaking yards near Bhavnagar, the reports indicate.

The Mercury has been unable to confirm the reports.

Bhavnagar is located in the state of Gujarat on India's west coast, on the Gulf of Khambat, slightly north of the Alang ship-breaking yards, the final destination for thousands of ageing vessels that are run up on the beach and torn apart by an army of labourers.

A familiar sight to many in the Illawarra, The Iron Monarch shipped steel slabs between BlueScope's Port Kembla and Western Port facilities for almost 40 years.

The 10,584-tonne vessel received a $17 million overhaul last year, but was then sold to Mercury Shipping Inc for what was believed to be between $4 million and $5 million. Further details about the new owners were not available. A BlueScope spokesman confirmed the Iron Monarch had been delivered to its new owners in Singapore several weeks ago, after it sailed from Port Kembla for the final time.

"The vessel was sold for ongoing trade and since the sale we have not been advised from the purchaser as to its whereabouts or future role," he said.

Source: Illawarra Mercury. By CHRIS PAVER. 25 May 2012

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