16 February 2010 – The United Kingdom’s Environment Agency is monitoring the dismantling of a former French Navy aircraft carrier by Able UK at the company’s ship dismantling site in Hartlepool, U.K. The EA adds that a fire, which broke out at the ship dismantling facility earlier this month, did not result in any run-off and does not pose a risk of pollution.
The Environment Agency issued a waste management license to Able UK in June 2008 allowing the company to dismantle ships at its Hartlepool site.
In September 2008 the French Navy received consent to import the Clemenceau to Able UK site under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007. The vessel arrived at the site Feb. 8, 2009. Under the waste regulations, a ship needs to be recovered and scrapped within one calendar year of arrival.
Able UK had notified the Environment Agency last year that a previously unidentified asbestos had been discovered during preparatory works and that the dismantling and recovery of the hull of the aircraft carrier the Clemenceau would not be completed by this February, which was the required date for dismantling to be complete.
Since then, Environment Agency officers have visited Able UK to check on the progress of recovering the vessel, work which is taking longer than originally anticipated.
“Our priority is to ensure that the hull, and waste in general, is dealt with in a manner that does not cause pollution of the environment,” says Julian Carrington, area environment manager for the Environment Agency.
After indicating that dismantling would not be complete by this month, the company has revised its completion date to this coming June.