Able UK sets to work on dismantling of French aircraft carrier.
The arrival of a former French aircraft carrier at the Able UK TERRC (Teesside Environmental Reclamation and Recycling Centre) facility at Able Seaton Port ‘marks a significant step forward in establishing Teesside and the North East at the forefront of an industry with tremendous potential for growth—and job creation—in the years ahead.’
That was how Peter Stephenson, Chairman and Chief Executive of Able UK, summed up the significance of the company’s success in gaining the contract to recycle the vessel Q790—formerly known as the Clemenceau—in what will be the largest ship recycling project ever undertaken in Europe.
The 32,780 tonne vessel—255 metres long and with a deck width of 51.2 metres was manoeuvred into TERRC after its 1,150 kilometre journey from Brest which commenced last Tuesday. It is now berthed alongside four American and three British vessels that are also undergoing recycling. It is expected that the actual dismantling process will begin this summer and last for around a year, providing 200 jobs.
“This is an important day for our company and the region as a whole. This was seen throughout the world as a highly significant contract and the fact that it has come to our facility demonstrates that we are recognised as a world leader in the field of ship and marine structures recycling,” Stephenson says.
“It should be remembered that we have been involved in this activity for many years—indeed currently at TERRC we are involved in the recycling of the North West Hutton platform, – the largest Oil Platform yet to be removed from the North Sea oil fields.
“It is to the credit of the French government that they recognised the importance of ensuring that the Q790 should be recycled at a facility where the work will be undertaken safely and under the best available environmental conditions. I believe their action underlines the growing understanding in the World of the responsibility that ship owners need to ensure that redundant vessels are no longer merely abandoned on the beaches of developing countries. I strongly urge governments and environmental bodies to emulate the French example and to seek to outlaw cheap rate, unregulated and dangerous practices that pose an ongoing threat to both the environment and unprotected workforces.
“With the biggest dry dock in the world, Able Seaton Port is clearly established as world leader with the potential for other major construction projects in the environmental and renewable energy sectors, including wind and wave power technology.
“We have faced many challenges in reaching this point, not least in seeking to combat a campaign that has consistently chosen to ignore the facts and the environmental realities. But our confidence and determination has been fully vindicated today.”
“We are proud of what we do and we should be celebrating the fact that here in Hartlepool we have a world leader, employing local people and supporting local businesses. We can now start the process of recruitment and by Easter we should have the full complement of 200 on board involved in the recycling works.”