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Napoli wreck recycling to begin in Belfast

A Belfast shipyard will recycle and dispose of the bow of the MSC Napoli which was deliberately beached in January this year. Following an explosive splitting of the ship, the bow is being towed to the Harland and Wolff shipyard, Belfast, for recycling. It is expected to arrive either today, August 13, or on August 14, then the shipyard will work in partnership with waste and environmental management company Golder Associates to recover materials and dispose of waste. On arrival, the ship will be placed in a 556m dry dock, where it will be decontaminated, deconstructed and materials collected for recycling offsite. The project is expected to take four to five months. A tendering process for companies to deal with the resulting material tonnages will then begin. Harland and Wolff said it offers a high level of environmentally friendly disposal especially in comparison to other parts of the world, such as the Alang coast, India, where ships are beach-broken. This involved ramming a ship on to a beach at high tide then workers use their bare hands to rip the ship apart. Workers also remove hazardous waste such as asbestos without protective clothing. Contracts to dispose of the remainder of the Napoli are under discussion, said a spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is managing the salvage operation. Harland and Wolff head of sales and marketing David McVeigh said: The decommissioning and recycling of MSC Napoli will utilise existing methods and procedures proven over hundreds of projects. Owners with vessels coming to the end of their working lives generally had no alternative but to use traditional beach-breaking methods, which come with their inherent environmental and human impact. This project will establish a solution for European ship recycling, as Harland and Wolff and Golder Associates offer large, modern facilities combined with proven operating procedures that ensure high environmental and health and safety standards.

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