The European Commission has published the continent’s first ever list of approved ship recycling plants.
Its European List of Ship Recycling Facilities, published on 19 December, lists 18 plants including three UK sites.
The UK facilities are Able UK in Hartlepool (pictured), Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries in Belfast, and Swansea Drydock in south Wales.
EU ship recycling regulations, published in 2013, require all vessels sailing under an EU member state flag to use an approved ship recycling facility.
All EU flagged ships going for dismantling are also now required to carry on board an inventory of hazardous materials. This will be extended to all ships visiting European ports, irrespective of the flag they fly, from the end of 2020 onwards.
Environment commissioner Karmenu Vella congratulated the 18 European companies that made the list.
He said: “The list sends a clear signal that there is business and employment in safe and environmentally sound ship recycling, starting in Europe.
“With the list we close the loop for the European naval industry: these ships were often designed and built in Europe; we can take care of them at the end of their life too – in a respectful way.”
Applications from yards outside the EU are still being assessed. The Commission will decide in 2017 on their inclusion in the list.