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Sustainable ship dismantling

When Boskalis decommissions ships it is standard practice to see to it that they are dismantled both responsibly and safely.

Sustainable ship dismantling taken to the next level in Mexico

Preconditions are:
  • a hard surface
  • certification of the yard
  • the responsible disposal of waste.
This puts us ahead of existing legislation and regulations. In 2013, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform recognized us as an industry leader in this field. As a result, when Boskalis was faced with the scrapping of three old cutter suction dredgers on the west coast of Mexico, the search was on for a suitable facility. We have contact with yards on the east coast of Mexico that meet all the requirements, but there are still no yards of this kind on the Pacific Coast. In consultation with the North Sea Foundation, the ISP/Amaya Curiel yard, located in Ensenada on the Baja peninsula, was chosen.

Leading by example

An independent audit was instructed by Boskalis and was carried out by classification society Germanischer Lloyd. Subsequently, the pilot project to dismantle the Para and the Mercurius was carried out. Based on the lessons learned from these two vessels, the dismantling procedures were further improved for the dismantling of the third vessel, the Amstel. Two of our own technical superintendents on site monitored the progress. During this time, we made suggestions on how the dismantling could be improved which frequently was of a procedural nature. Boskalis also brought in scientists from the Marine Science department at the University of Baja California to monitor air, water and soil quality and the disposal of hazardous materials. In December 2014, during the scrapping of the cutter suction dredger Amstel, Merijn Hougee, board member of NGO Shipbreaking Platform visited the yard with representatives from Boskalis and met with Roberto Curiel (owner ISP/Amaya Curiel yard) and representatives of the University of Baja California.

The approach to dismantling is a testimony to how serious Boskalis is about applying the international conventions to its recycling activities. I encourage Boskalis to keep sharing their knowledge to help the yard progress and to communicate transparently about their recycling practices since this sets a positive example in the maritime industry. Ultimately, this approach will help to transform a historically ‘dirty’ shipbreaking industry into a recycling industry with a positive image.
Merijn Hougee
Working with Boskalis has raised our awareness about the environment. It gave us the experience to work in a different, more responsible way. The whole world is moving in the direction of environmental responsibility. We want to be in the forefront in our country. I see the industry going in that direction over time, with more oversight and restrictions, and that is how it should be. Boskalis gave us the opportunity to improve our operations by sharing their knowledge.
Roberto Curiel