25 July 2013

Informational session on proposed shipbreaking planned Thursday:

Frank Allen, the principal organizer behind Blue Ocean Environmental and its proposal to dismantle ships at North Tongue Point, will hold an informational session and take questions from the public from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the old Port of Astoria offices, 422 Gateway Ave.

Allen’s proposal to dismantle derelict vessels at North Tongue Point first arose in April, when the Port Commission briefly broached the idea while under a nondisclosure agreement. Allen later visited in May to further explain his proposal and has been in the permitting process since.

Oregon Revised Statute 783.400 defines shipbreaking as the process of dismantling a ship for scrap or disposal. It is only allowed on a dry dock and in a manner that doesn’t allow hazardous materials, fouling communities or fouling organisms that are in or on the ship to enter the waters of Oregon or the ocean shore.

Shipbreaking is a booming business, taking advantage of the downsizing of older, unprofitable vessels in the hard-hit shipping industry. The German news outlet Spiegel Online International reported that more than 1,000 ships were scrapped by the “iron eaters” in 2012, more than half of them by India. Bangladesh, Pakistan and China were other major ship recyclers.

Allen said he wants to start with a small fishing vessel located at Tongue Point. Blue Ocean would bring in specialists to remove the toxic substances, recycle the metal and ship it by barge to Seattle. Steel firm Nucor Corporation (www.nucor.com) will take it for what Allen said would currently be about $19 a ton and reprocess it for use in the U.S.

There are 300 derelict vessels in Oregon and 400 in Washington deteriorating and polluting the environment, said Allen, adding that thousands are being disposed of without any environmental concern.

Source: daily astorian.  23 July 2013

No comments: