By Paul Ploumis
April 06, 2017 01:30:52 PM
SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The leading metals recycler EMR Group has signed a contract with the US Navy to transport, dismantle and scrap the decommissioned US aircraft carrier USS Independence. The carrier is the last of the Forrestel category of supercarriers.
EMR Group will be responsible for transportation of the carrier, which took its last journey last month. The carrier is reported to have left from the Kitsap Naval Base in Bremerton, Washington, on March 11 and passed by CostaRica on its final journey covering 16,000 miles. The departure was delayed upon concerns expressed by environmental regulators that scrapping of the hull caused environmental damages to the Puget Sound inlet where the ship was moored.
The final journey into the EMR’s International Shipbreaking yard in Brownsville, Texas, after transiting the Strait of Magellan, is expected to be completed in less than three months. Usually, it takes four months for the journey, but better weather conditions this time is expected to deliver quicker journey. It must be noted that USS Independence is expected to reach the recycling facility by early-June. The arrival will be marked by a beach-side event, said site officials. The carrier is being towed by a tug called the Dino Chouest. Reports indicate that the vessel carries sufficient stock of diesel so that it does not have to stop to refuel along the way.
Chris Sheppard, chief executive officer of EMR Group stated that preparations at the yard are nearing completion. The technical team is currently involved in final touches to the dismantling techniques. He noted that EMR Group is extremely proud to have been awarded recycling contract of another US Navy ship. The company has made significant investments over the past several years to employ right technologies and expert team to ensure safe and environmentally responsible recycling of huge aircraft. The entire process of dismantling and recycling of USS Independence is estimated to take almost two years, Sheppard noted.
USS Independence entered service in 1959. It was used during 1965 Vietnam War and also to carry out airstrikes against Syrian forces during the Lebanese Civil War. It was also used for Iraq operations. After 39 years of service, it was decommissioned in 1998.
EMR Group had earlier carried out dismantling of decommissioned supercarrier aircrafts-USS Constellation and USS Ranger in 2015. USS Constellation had reached the scrap yard in January 2015. EMR was paid $3 million to scrap the military vessel, in addition to the proceeds from sale of recycling. USS Ranger had reached the facility for dismantling in July 2015.
EMR is a global leader in metal recycling, Established in 1940’s, EMR is actively involved in recycling of scrap metal from a range of sources such as end-of-life vehicles, consumer products, industry, construction and demolition. It sells recycled commodities weighing around 10 million tonnes per year. The company employs nearly 4,000 people and operates at around 150 locations around the world. The Brownsville site is a metal recycling yard operated by International Shipbreaking Ltd., part of the EMR Group.