Demolition and Decommissioning (# 68)
Quick response succeeds in Northern Ireland ship recycling
By Mark Gilligan, Belfast, UK
When the storm-damaged container ship MSC Napoli was deliberately beached on the coast of Devon in southern England in January 2007, there was nationwide concern that heavy fuel oil would leak into the water and on to the shore of a nearby World Heritage Site. Quick and effective action moved the forward section of the MSC Napoli to the new ship-recycling facilities at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
At the shipyard careful planning continued as Golder worked with Harland and Wolff to dismantle and recycle the ship in a safe and environmentally sound way. The priorities were decontaminating the hull, removing the fuel oil that had spilled over much of the ship’s hold and recycling as much of the vessel as possible.
The overriding goal of the project was the safe, environmentally sound, transparent and auditable decommissioning process. Golder provided third-party assurance for the work, acted as health and safety coordinator and provided a paper-trail for the contaminated and recyclable materials.
Over 98 percent of the ship is expected to be recycled, with the work done according to stringent European and international standards. The vast, modern facilities at Harland and Wolff, including twin Goliath gantry cranes straddling one of the world’s biggest dry docks, brings a large amount of automation to the dismantling process, enhancing safety and dramatically reducing costs.