03 September 2016

International Shipbreaking lands contract to recycle aircraft carrier

U.S. Navy awards Texas-based recycler the contract to dismantle and recycle the USS Independence.

International Shipbreaking Ltd., (ISL) a scrap recycling company that specializes in maritime recycling projects, has been awarded the contract to transport, dismantle and scrap the USS Independence, a Forrestal-class aircraft carrier that was decommissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1998. The U.S. Navy will pay ISL around $6 million for the project.

ISL, based in Brownsville, Texas, is a part of the UK-based recycling company EMG Group. The company has already dismantled a number of other Navy aircraft carriers. Robert Berry, vice president of ISL, says that the facility is a specialist depot that can handle larger vessels.

Under the agreement, ISL will tow the 61,000-ton vessel from its present location, in Bremerton, Washington, down around the tip of South America, eventually bringing it to ISL’s specialty processing location in Brownsville. Despite the widening of the Panama Canal the carrier is still too large to pass through the Canal.

Berry says the company expects to start towing the vessel by the end of this year, and the trip should take around four months. Before embarking on the trip, ISL will spend several months prepping the vessel for transportation.

Berry estimates that the dismantling and recycling of the aircraft carrier will be a two-year project. “There are lots of environmental issues that we need to deal with,” Berry points out, “including properly handling PCBs and mercury switches.”

Source: recycling today. 30 August 2016

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