25 November 2012

Fire erupts in Gaddani ship:

QUETTA: Fire erupted in a ship in Gaddani Ship Breaking Yard in the Lasbella district on Saturday.

Sources in the police said a ship was tugged into Gaddani Ship Breaking Yard for breaking purpose. Suddenly a fire erupted in the ship and engulfed it. The fire tenders rushed to the site and made hectic efforts for several hours and managed to extinguish it. There was, however, no report of any loss of life.

Source: 25 November 2012

22 November 2012

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh shipbreaking industry for WEEK 46 of 2012:

Bangladesh failed really to deliver on the hope that they could once again return to the offering in the Indian sub continent and prop up the market.

Levels remain remarkably soft despite several buyers returning to the table once again, following their period on the sidelines when most yards were stuffed.

Therefore, it was hardly surprising to see no market sales for the week, with China snaring any available tonnage positioned in the East back their way.

For the larger units on offer there are one or two open buyers but for smaller there may even be no offers forthcoming in what is becoming an increasingly choosy and difficult market.

Source: Steel Guru. 20 November 2012

GMS weekly report on Indian shipbreaking industry for WEEK 46 of 2012:

Diwali holidays, coupled with falling local steel plate prices and a currency that has once again come off significantly and resulted in some very poor sentiment this week in India.

In fact, for most cash buyers, it was not even worth offering vessels into the Indian market due to the terrible numbers coming back their way. For those with unsold inventory, it could be a difficult time ahead in minimizing their losses and performing on those high priced deals of several weeks ago.

The reality is that bulkers are once again trading well below the UD 400 per liter LDT mark and tankers/containers are somewhere in the region of USD 420 per liter LDT less 3% if any levels were quoted at all.

With 40 vessels beached last month, 10 already this month and another 35+ at anchorage or incoming, it has been another bumper month in India and perhaps the time-off afforded to the market owing the Diwali holidays has been fully deserved.

It will be interesting to see where the market emerges again in the coming week, with both owners and cash buyers alike hoping that the market resumes its old swagger.

Source: Steel Guru. 20 November 2012

GMS weekly report on shipbreaking industry for WEEK 46 of 2012:

As Diwali holidays came to an end in India, many cash buyers and owners were holding their breath for an improvement in the dire rates seen from all three competing markets in the Indian sub continent.

Indian holidays have coincided with a worsening rupee (that is once again trading at INR 55 to the US Dollar) and domestic steel plate prices that have come off by as much as USD 25/LT LDT in the past week. Pakistan has followed their Indian neighbors in trailing off their numbers accordingly (despite Eid holidays ending some time ago and the market fully open to buy).

Lastly, Bangladesh has resumed their much awaited offering, albeit in a disappointing fashion. The only market to display any sort of bullishness and aggression to buy is China and several private (much from Chinese owner direct to yard) and market deals continue to take place there.

Much like the fourth quarter of 2011, the repeated failings of the Indian rupee has stunned many end buyers and cash buyers' alike, who are once again set to lose significantly on their existing inventories. The cruel and volatile nature of the market has yet again displayed itself in full (not for the first time this year) and there has been little relief from the supposedly firming (competing) markets like Bangladesh to take the burden away from others.

The supply of tonnage remains strong even though rates on the dry side appear to have picked up a touch, something that has surprisingly led to one or two older even 1990s built units iii the capesize sector being resold for further trading. A slowdown in the volumes of tonnage to the demo yards may even see rates return to previous highs.

For week 46 of 2012, GMS demo rankings for the week are as below:

Market Sentiment
USD 390/lt ldt
USD 420/lt ldt
USD 390/lt ldt
USD 420/lt ldt
USD 385/lt ldt
USD 420/lt ldt
USD 350/lt ldt
USD 370/lt ldt

Source: Steel Guru. 20 November 2012

GMS weekly report on Pakistan shipbreaking industry for WEEK 46 of 2012:

With the ongoing Indian slowdown, Pakistan quickly re adjusted their numbers with demand slowing since the number of recent high priced and high LDT tonnage concluded.

There is still demand for one or two of the larger units, particularly VLCCs and suezmax tankers but little in the way of material sales concluded to speak of.

As India opens up post Diwali in the coming week it may be that we see a return to form for Pakistan buyers or perhaps a period of digestion until the next round to buy comes about.

Source: Steel Guru. 20 November 2012

19 November 2012

Joint position paper on ship recycling by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and Greenpeace EU

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform and Greenpeace EU, both based in Brussels, published yesterday a joint position paper on ship recycling called “A principled and practical solution for ship recycling: NGO Shipbreaking Platform and Greenpeace Position on the European Commission Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Ship Recycling (COM 2012/118)”.

The position paper can be downloaded at here:  Position-Paper-NGO-Shipbreaking-Platform-Greenpeace-EU-Nov2012 and can also be found on our “European Campaign” web page: http://www.shipbreakingplatform.org/european-campaign/

Event at the EU Parliament 

This position paper comes a week after an event about shipbreaking took place at the European Parliament. The event, titled “Shipbreaking: taking responsibility for hidden costs” and which was hosted by Carl Schlyter MEP and was co-organised by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, gathered a large crowd made of members of the European Parliament, the European Council, environmental activists, academics and industry representatives.   The event featured a panel discussion chaired by Mr Schlyter, who is the rapporteur to the Environment Committee of the European Parliament on the European Commission proposal for a ship recycling regulation. Amongst the panelists was Karl Falkenberg, director general of the DG Environment of the European Commission, who declared that EU-flagged ships (which are the only ships concerned by the Commission proposal in its current form) would not be allowed to be sold to ship recycling facilities using the beaching method. It was the first time that a representative from the Commission made a public statement against beaching as a possible method for recycling EU ships.

EU Commission proposal deemed illegal 

Other panelists included Ludwig Krämer, environmental lawyer at ClientEarth, who explained that the Commission proposal in its current form is illegal. Mr Krämer said the proposal if adopted would effectively withdraw end-of-life ships from the EU Waste Shipment Regulation, whereas this is forbidden by law as the EU is bound by an international treaty known as the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which defines end-of-life ships as hazardous wastes. The EU has also made the export of these ships from the EU to developing countries illegal by transposing what is known as the Ban Amendment into EU law through the same Waste Shipment Regulation.

Jim Puckett, executive director of Basel Action Network (BAN), explained that the EU had always been a champion of the Ban Amendment and said that this Commission proposal was worrying as it represents a big step backwards if indeed the EU intends to continue protecting developing countries from becoming the dumping sites for richer countries’ hazardous waste. Finally, Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) and advocate at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh said that the EU Commission should make sure the waste present within EU-flagged ships is properly treated in the EU instead of being sent to developing countries like Bangladesh, who lack the proper facilities to effectively manage hazardous waste. She called on the European Commission to ban beaching for EU ships so that they would have to choose alternatives to developing countries using this method.  Her presentation can be downloaded here:Rizwana-Hasan-BELA-ppt-Shipbreaking-event-Nov-2012

Harrowing documentary highlights fatal flaws of beaching 

The event was also the occasion for Ralph Vituccio, an award-winning documentary film maker and Director of Media Development in Communications Design at Carnegie Mellon (USA), and his colleague Tom Clancey, a Los-Angeles-based cinematographer, to present the trailer of their upcoming documentary “The Shipbreakers”, filmed in the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. The film makers shared with the audience their experience while filming in the yards, describing in detail the pollution they witnessed and the lack of proper equipment and infrastructure the shipbreaking workers have to deal with every day.

Source: 14 November 2012

Accidents And Asbestos: Concerns Plaguing The Shipbreaking Industry In Developing Countries:

(BRUSSELS) – The beautiful sunset light does not really manage to lighten the cruel reality of the images: huge ships being dismantled manually by scores of workers in appalling conditions. “With producer Paul Goodman, we originally wanted to make a film on the process of shipbreaking only,” Ralph Vituccio and Tom Clancey, the two American filmmakers of a documentary about shipbreaking in India explain. “But we soon realized that we could not ignore the human rights and the environmental issues.

“Working conditions are dreadful; there are absolutely no safety precautions,” Vituccio goes on to say. “Workers wear sandals and the beach is full of metal scrap and sharp-edged cutting objects. Many of them don’t even wear a helmet. They rip asbestos by hand. Odors and smoke can be awful. Accidents happen regularly. They live in horrendous conditions, in shanty town made with ship material, they have no running water. Some of these workers are as young as 14.”

The film “Shipbreakers” is not due before 2013, but the teaser shown in the European Parliament in Brussels last week was enough to realize shipbreaking can have all the ingredients of hell on Earth.

According to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform — a coalition of 18 human rights, labor rights and environmental organizations — every year about 1,000 ships are sent for breaking so that their steel and some of their contents can be recycled. The problem is that most of these ships contain hazardous materials such as asbestos, mineral oils, PCBs and heavy metals, among others. And only a fraction is handled in a safe, sustainable manner. More often, these ships are simply run ashore on tidal beaches in developing countries, such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, where the lack of environmental protection and safety measures leads to high accident rates, health risks and extensive pollution of coastal areas.

The shipbreaking industry

In 2011, more than 200 European ships were sent for breaking on the beaches of South Asia. And the situation is likely to worsen since large numbers of ships are expected to be sent for dismantling in the coming years as a result of the current overcapacity of the world fleet on the one hand; and because of the phasing-out of single-hull tankers, due by 2015, on the other.

Yet, sending European ships for dismantling to South-East Asia is illegal. In the late 1980s, there was international indignation after reports of 8,000 barrels of chemical waste being dumped on Koko Beach in Nigeria hit the headlines. There were demands for stricter international rules to regulate the export of toxic waste from industrialized to developing countries. As a result, in 1989, the United Nations Basel Convention on the control of Transboundary Movements of Waste and their disposal was adopted.

The Basel Convention provides for a worldwide system of prior written notice and approval for the movement of wastes. In 1995, an amendment was adopted banning the export of hazardous waste from the EU and OECD developed countries to non–OECD countries. The ban was subsequently implemented into European law with the Waste Shipment Regulation that includes end-of-life ships, considered as waste. Since then, it has been illegal for any ship to leave an EU port for a shipbreaking destination located in non-OECD countries.

The European Union is faced with two problems though: First, there is, according to the European Commission, a lack of recycling capacities available in OECD countries, particularly for the largest ships. Second, the export ban is too easily circumvented by ship-owners because it is difficult to identify the moment in which a ship becomes waste. And if the ship-owner does not declare the intention to dismantle a ship when leaving an EU port, the relevant authorities cannot intervene. According to figures from the European Commission, in 2009, more than 90 percent of EU-flagged ships were dismantled outside the OECD, mostly in South Asia. In other words, the export ban is as good as hollow.

The Hong Kong Convention

Realizing the problem, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally sound Recycling of Ships in 2006. This would allow dismantling everywhere, including in Asian countries, provided the yards are certified to meet international standards. To enter into force, the Hong Kong Convention must be ratified by a sufficient number of states. This is not expected to happen before 2020 at the earliest.

The European Commission has just tabled a draft law whose purpose is to allow an early implementation of the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention for EU-countries. As a result of this new regulation and in order to avoid overlapping, ships would no longer be covered by the older Waste Shipment Regulation, i.e., the Basel Convention.

This has led to a general outcry from the NGOs. They claim that the Hong Kong Convention is far too lax and fails to meet the high requirements of the Basel Convention. The beaching practice, for example, is not explicitly prohibited. There are discussions about how the certification process will function: Who is going to attest that yards in South Asia comply with international human rights and environmental rules? They also argue that if a particular set of laws and regulations is being regularly flouted, the most obvious solution is to pay more attention to an improved enforcement mechanism, not to replace it by a new set of rules that is weaker.

“You cannot leave to developing countries the responsibility to set up proper yards and the Europeans just wash their hands,” says Ludwig Kramer, an environment lawyer for ClientEarth. “The fact is, end-of-life ships are hazardous waste; this is covered by the Basel Convention which prohibits its export, and the EU has ratified that convention. That’s it. The EU cannot decide unilaterally that the Basel Convention is no longer valid for ships. This is illegal under international law.”

The Basel Action Network, an American member of the Shipbreaking Platform, refutes the EU’s claim that there is insufficient ship recycling capacity in developed countries. They say they have identified clean and safe ship underutilized recycling capacity in North America, and that is sufficient to accommodate the current EU-flagged tonnage excess. According to Nikos Mikelis, from the IMO, this is a false claim though, because the conditions for importing ships in the United States are very strict, and the charges are such that it is not realistic to expect ship-owners to pay for them.

This at least has the merit of clarity and exposes two fundamental questions: Who is willing to deal with dangerous waste? And who is willing to bear the costs? The industry has clearly concluded that developing countries were the best deal, regardless of human rights and environmental considerations. And governments find it difficult to put an end to the practice, either because regulations are being circumvented or because they bend to the pressure from the industry. Some argue that developing countries actually benefit from the ship dismantling since they recover valuable steel.

Backlash from developing countries

But Rizwana Hasan, from the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyer’s Association, would not take it. “Well, I would rather they keep their steel and we save our workers’ lives!” she intervenes. “Why would poor countries bear all the costs of the recycling? Why would industrialized countries dump their waste in developing countries?” She also denounces the EU’s lack of consistency. “European countries have banned beaching in Europe but they would not do it on a global level.” She believes the new EU proposal will certainly not improve things on the ground.

There is another major problem: Out of all ships sent for breaking every year, 40 percent are owned by European companies but only 8 percent are actually flagged in the EU. More or less two years before breaking, ships typically change registration. As a result, most end-of-life ships enter Bangladesh with a flag from Panama, West Indies, the British Virgin Islands or the like and there is nothing the EU can do about it. In other words, and whatever the regulation, it will be meaningless if in the end, it leads to EU-ships being flagged out.

Carl Schlyter, in charge of the new draft law in the European Parliament and member of the Swedish Green Party, has an idea that, he believes, will counter that problem. He wants to make all ships that call at a European port pay a fee according to their tonnage. They would only get their money back if they can prove in the end that the dismantling of the ship has been done in a proper way.

“On the substance,” he says, “the NGOs are right of course, we need good and strict rules. But if they are not implemented, what is the benefit?” Does that mean he is prepared to be pragmatic, preferring a less than good solution to no solution at all? “Pragmatic? I hate that word,” the answer comes.

“But what can I do?” he goes on. “If we are too demanding, the new legislation won’t be approved and the situation is not going to improve on the ground. So, I’d rather table a few amendments, ask for an explicit ban on beaching for example and introduce the idea of a fund. I am not even sure I can win that battle!”

Schlyter knows pretty well that many of his colleagues in the European Parliament are sensitive to the needs of the industry; he also knows the draft law will have to be approved by the EU Council, where important shipping states such as Greece, Malta, Cyprus and others are likely to oppose his efforts to strengthen the text.

And in the meantime, the sun will continue to rise and set over inhuman shipbreaking yards somewhere in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Source: mint press. By Magda Fahsi. 12 November 2012

16 November 2012

The Murmansk - a shipbreaking challenge for AF Decom:

The Murmansk, a 210 m (689 ft) 13,000 tonne cruiser built for the Russian Navy in 1955 had been withdrawn from military service and was being towed to India to be scrapped. She broke away from her tug and ran aground in bad weather off the coast of Sørvær in Finnmark, northern Norway, in 1994.

Radioactive substances were identified on the wreck and the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries decided that she had to be dismantled and recycled.

Six tenders were received by the Norwegian Coastal Administration for the €32 million (US$40.5 million) contract, with AF Decom winning out because its proposal was considered the safest according to health, environmental and technical feasibility.

The plan

AF Decom’s plan involved the construction of breakwaters and the establishment of a dry dock around the vessel to allow for its dismantling in situ. This plan offered a number of distinct advantages. It eliminated the risks and uncertainties that are involved with underwater operations and lifting; it minimised any health, safety and security issues; it minimised weather limitations during the demolition since the area is exposed to high winds and is renowned for rough seas; and it uses reputable and proven methods and principles. A significant advantage offered by the method was the ability it conveyed to control environmental issues that might arise during the ship’s removal – water dispersion routes are eliminated by the dry site and the dry dock itself serves as an effective barrier against the proliferation of waste and other materials that would inevitably fall from the wreck during its cutting up and removal.

Once the dry dock was completed, the water surrounding the ship was pumped out. Two Hitachi demolition specification excavators (a ZX800 and an EX1200-6) then began work to break the cruiser down using a variety of attachments, including 15 and 25 tonne Genesis shears. The machines then segregate the materials for recycling, including electrical components, asbestos, wood, chemicals, batteries, metals and material with low levels of radioactive contamination.

AF Decom’s goal is to achieve a recycling rate of 95% on the project. Material is sorted into containers on site, which are in turn transported by ship to appropriate waste and recycling facilities, eliminating the need for storage and additional transport to minimise the project’s impact on the local environment.

Waste is accounted for on a continuous basis during the project, with all outgoing containers being registered and recorded in project-specific records that are quality assured against waste and weight receipts from the recycling facilities in accordance to current Norwegian legislation. Complete waste records will be included in the project’s final report.

AF Decom manager Eirik Wraal said of the project: “By the end of July we had almost removed the whole of the top part of the ship had been removed and the ship cleaned and cleared of hazardous waste and explosives. The first few thousand tonnes of scrap had also been shipped for recycling.” Work on the Murmansk is expected to be concluded later this year.

The project was delayed by a massive storm that occurred during November 2010 that effectively destroyed the dry dock, thus necessitating its being rebuilt, a task that took almost a year to complete.

Removal and recycling of such constructions clearly require high standards where safety and handling of hazardous materials are concerned. “AF Group has, through several demanding decommissioning projects – onshore and offshore – built up core competence within this area,” said Pål Egil Rønn, CEO of AF Group.

Source: 14 November 2012

Alang needs better health infrastructure:

GANDHINAGAR: The 10-member Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) on ship-breaking has called for strengthening of regulatory mechanism in Alang to prevent casualties from taking place in accidents at Asia's biggest ship-breaking yard.

The IMC visited various ship-breaking plots and inspected the dismantling of ships being done by workers on Friday. The visit came in the backdrop of six workers dying while dismantling an oil tanker earlier this month. They had interactions with ship-breakers, workers and officials. "They were satisfied with the improvements being made in terms of infrastructure at the ship-breaking yard," an official said.

In an interaction with Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) officials on Thursday, the IMC had called for improving the health infrastructure in Alang and said that a hospital capable of handling emergencies must be built in Alang at the earliest. In a recent development, GMB, which is the port regulator, has signed a memorandum of understanding with GVK EMRI for providing 108 basic life support ambulance in Alang. It has also taken steps for getting employees of ship-breaking firms registered by Employees' State Insurance Corporation. In its action taken report submitted to IMC, it gave details on efforts being made for getting an ESIC hospital functional in Alang.

Sources said another issue raised by IMC team was providing clean dormitory accommodation to the workers employed. The GMB has plans to come up with a housing project of 1,000 units for which approval has been granted by the government and a detailed proposal for availing a financial assistance of Rs 13.13 crore has been submitted.

To the issues related to treatment of waste raised by IMC during its two-day visit to Gandhinagar and Alang, the GMB has conveyed that landfill cells for an additional 1,00,000 cubic meters waste disposal has been made ready last month. GMB has stated that it plans to install an incinerator also in Alang for which environmental clearance is awaited.

Source: times of india. 19 October 2012

GMS weekly report on Pakistan shipbreaking industry for WEEK 45 of 2012:

Pakistan following hot on the heels of their Indian neighbors suffered a slowdown in both sentiment and levels this week after the spate of activity that had seen them pick up a number of VLCCs and larger tankers and bulkers last month.

Very rarely the market to set the pace, Gadani recyclers were not suffering from the crippling currency fluctuations and steel price reversals that have beset the Indian market for so long, but in terms of steady supply and a lack of demand / capacity, the telltale signs are starting to show.

With Indian buyers away on Diwali holidays for the week and Eid having recently ended in Pakistan, this could be the ideal time for Pakistani buyers to pick up a few vessels, if only they would show the intent and initiative.

Source: steel guru. 15 November 2012.

15 November 2012

GMS weekly report on shipbreaking industry for WEEK 45 of 2012:

Indian woes this week further persisted as weakening steel prices and a retreating currency left the market in the doldrums as Diwali holidays got underway.

The impact on competing markets in the sub continent was perceivable as Pakistan softened their sentiment and demand as a result and the re emerging Bangladeshi market threw some caution in their new offers, wary of the worsening situation in their competing markets.

China (and perhaps Turkey) were the only markets to show consistent demand and a keen eye to buy at competitive levels. For this reason those geographically positioned vessels (and those with Chinese flagged vessels who are able to receive tax exemptions for sales to Chinese demo buyers) profited from the poor state of the Indian sub continent market with private local sales aplenty.

For the part of India, with 40 vessels beached in October and well over 40 more expected in November, a period of downtime over Diwali holidays is perhaps just reward from what has been an extremely busy period of time.

Still, the candidates show few signs of slowing and some extreme speculation from cash buyers in recent weeks (banking on further market movement upwards) seems likely to backfire with this most recent setback on levels demand.

As with the fourth quarter of last year therefore, it is likely to be another cagey and challenging period of time up until Christmas in getting the high priced inventory successfully delivered, adapting to the new levels now on show (down by at least some USD 25/LT LDT) and satisfying the limited and fickle demand that remains.

Market Sentiment
USD 390/lt ldt
USD 420/lt ldt
USD 390/lt ldt
USD 420/lt ldt
USD 390/lt ldt
USD 420/lt ldt
USD 350/lt ldt
USD 370/lt ldt

Source: Steel Guru. 15 November 2012

GMS weekly report on Indian shipbreaking industry for WEEK 45 of 2012:

The worrying steel price reversals and currency fluctuations that had characterized last week in India were compounded this week by the Diwali holidays and an almost constant supply and arrival of vessels.

The Indian rupee last closed at 54.75 to the dollar, close to the INR 55 levels that have proved so troublesome and unprofitable to local buyers in recent times.

Many vessels remain unsold and waiting at anchorage, with a further number also undergoing renegotiation after the unrealistically high prices paid by several cash buyers during the speculative upturn of last month.

In the first 10 days of November 2012, so far 11 ships have beached with yet 30 more waiting and a further 6 declared as incoming by agents. In October an incredible 40 vessels were beached over the two high tides.

Incoming ships and those as yet unsold are likely to face problems upon arrival in the absence of strong cash buyer presence. Most buyers are either firmly in holiday mode, or unwilling to talk on levels whilst the currency and steel prices remain as they are. It could be a difficult November 2012 ahead in India.

Source: Steel Guru. 15 November 2012

GMS weekly report on Bangladesh shipbreaking industry for WEEK 45 of 2012:

As perhaps the only market moving at present in the sub continent, it was surprising to see no market sales concluded into Bangladesh this week.

The truth is that several cash buyer vessels remain unsold and facing problems outside Bangladesh these may be the first vessels sold before new inventory can be considered.

The Chinese owned bulkers Glorysun, Ocean Lovely and Safe Rise have all been waiting outside Chittagong with other cash buyers for 2 months now without any sign of an onward sale/beaching schedule and in the case of Safe Rise a rumored L'SD 100 per liter LDT renegotiation having taken place.

For this reason owners need to consider doing business with only tried and tested market players in Bangladesh as Chittagong can be an unforgiving market in the wrong hands.

Source: Steel Guru. 15 November 2012

GMS weekly report on Chinese shipbreaking industry for WEEK 45 of 2012:

As really the only firm market open to buy at the moment, it was surprising not to see more deals concluded to Chinese buyers this week.

A flurry of activity recently has certainly raised expectations, but there was little to report this week in terms of market sales.

Indeed most owners with vessels in the Far East are now looking at China as the market to go to with sub continent levels softening as they have done. Expect a busy end to the year here.

Source: Steel Guru. 15 November 2012

Vietnam War-era oiler to depart from Benicia on final voyage

A Mare Island company has secured two upcoming mothballed ship cleaning contracts, before the vessels take their final voyages for scrapping in Texas.
The former USS Wabash is scheduled to be tugged from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet early Wednesday morning to Allied Defense Recycling on Mare Island.

Preparation work is set to begin around 7 a.m., with the ship leaving the fleet around 9 a.m. and arriving at Mare Island around 11 a.m.

The Wabash, the 38th obsolete ship to leave the fleet in a mass ship cleanup effort since 2009, served as a Wichita-class U.S. Navy replenishment oiler from its 1970 construction in Quincy, Mass., to 1994.

The vessel served in the Philippines and Vietnam, with 46 supply replenishments conducted while it and its designation ship were underway in 1972 alone.

The Wabash was decommissioned in 1994 and came to rest at the Suisun Bay fleet in 1997.

Originally, the ship, along with upcoming Roanoke, was set for external hull cleaning and repair at BAE Systems San Francisco Shipyard.

However, an emergency repair job in San Francisco gave Mare Island Ship Yard LLC, formerly known as Allied Defense Recycling, a chance to nab the contract, said the shipyard's Suzanne Castleman. Esco Marine, in Brownsville, Texas, will be the Wabash's final destination.

Source: times herald online.

USS Wabash

USS Wabash AOR 5 Details:

Laid down, 1 January 1970, at General Dynamics Corp., Qunicy, MA.
Launched, 1 February 1971
Commissioned USS Wabash (AOR-5), 20 November 1971
Decommissioned, 30 September 1994
Struck from the Naval Register, 8 April 1997
Title transfer to MARAD, 18 December 1998
Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA.
Final Disposition, fate unknown

USS Wabash


Displacement 14,048 t.(lt) 39,790 t.(fl)
Length 659'
Beam 96'
Draft 37' (max.)
Speed 20 kts.
Complement 34 Officers, 463 Enlisted
Armament two Phalanx Close-In-Weapons System (CIWS), Sparrow Missile System (NSSMS)
Aircraft two CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters
Propulsion three boilers, two steam turbines, twin shafts, 32,000shp