United States: International Shipbreaking, a recycling company that specialises in maritime projects, has been awarded the contract to transport, dismantle and scrap the USS Independence, a Forrestal-class aircraft carrier that was decommissioned by the US Navy in 1998. Under the deal, the US Navy will pay the company US$ 6 million.
International Shipbreaking, which is part of the UK-based EMG Group, will tow the 61 000-tonne vessel from its current location at Bremerton in the US state of Washington, charting a course around the southern tip of South America to the company’s ship processing facility at Brownsville in Texas.
Despite the widening of the Panama Canal, the aircraft carrier is still too large to be taken via that route. The company expects to start towing the vessel in mid-December and for the whole journey to take some four months.
International Shipbreaking is currently preparing the vessel for transportation. The dismantling and recycling of the USS Independence will take two years.
According to a spokesman, there are many environmental issues to be addressed, including the proper handling of polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury switches.
Source: recycling international. 09 November 2016