(Written by Jim Mulrenan)
8 March 2013 – The big French group Veolia Environment is planning a huge $160m industrialised ship-demolition facility in southern China.
The project is being reported by the Chinese Xinhua news agency as a major step forward in the green recycling of elderly vessels.
The facility, to be built in the port city of Jiangmen in Guangdong, will demolish up to 800,000 light displacement ons (ldt), according to Xinhua, which, if an annual throughput, represents a huge scrapping capability.
This amounts to the demolition of about 30 VLCCs per year.
Veolia, quoted on the Paris and New York stock exchanges, grew out of a French water company but is today a large multinational with extensive waste-management operations.
The company owns Bartin Recycling Group, which recycles 780,000 metric tonnes of metal per year. Bartin has experience in ship, offshore installation and aircraft scrapping.
A notable project was Bartin’s 2009 demolition of the 9,750-dwt reefer Matterhorn (built 1985), seized by the French authorities following an oil spill.
Oil and other liquids were removed from the vessel and a systematic teardown was conducted in a Bordeaux dry dock.
Veolia is involved in marine waste management and has dedicated vessels for tank cleaning and related services.
The group also has extensive ferry and land-transport interest.
Veolia has not responded to a Tradewinds request for more information before press time.