Metals recycler, EMR Group, has secured a contract with the US Navy to transport, dismantle and scrap its 60,000-ton decommissioned aircraft carrier, the USS Independence.
The USS Independence is the last of the Forrestal-class of “supercarriers” and it took its final journey last month. The 16,000 mile trip to take it from its current location at the Kitsap Naval Base in Bremerton, Washington, to the recycling yard in Brownsville, Texas, is expected to take just under three months.
The Brownsville site is a metal recycling yard operated by International Shipbreaking Ltd., part of the EMR Group. This will be the third carrier it has taken delivery of, after the arrival of the decommissioned USS Constellation in January 2015 followed by the retired USS Ranger (of Top Gun fame) in July 2015.
The carrier is being towed by a tug called the Dino Chouest and the journey will involve navigating down the west coast of the US, through the Straits of Magellan at the tip of South America and then back up the East coast of South America.
Chris Sheppard, chief executive officer of EMR Group, comments: “We take great pride in having been awarded another US Navy ship recycling contract. We’ve invested heavily in the International Shipbreaking Limited facilities to ensure we have the right technologies and people to complete the scale of specialist maritime recycling contracts in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
“Preparations at the Brownsville yard are nearing completion and the team are ready in anticipation for her arrival. It’s estimated that the dismantling and recycling of the aircraft carrier will be a two-year project.”