Oil slick Queen demolished in Bangladesh ?

21 Apr 2008

According to informations coming from Chittagong, three container ships managed by German companies have just been put on sale on the demolition market. These three vessels are the joint property of KGAL, based in Germany, the largest European maritime leasing* company, and subsidiary of Allianz and Dresdner Bank, and of V Ships Germany, subsidiary of V Ships Monaco, the largest manager of commerce vessels in the world.

The Ankara, the Maersk Brisbane, and the Maersk Barcelona (Maersk is solely the charterer) were built in Germany in 1975-1976 and are motorized by vapor turbines whose installation requires large quantities of asbestos. These three sisterships have a lightweight of 15,000 t each.
Already, V Ships and KGAL have made it known that they will assign the container ships destined for demolition to the highest bidder, that is to say to Bangladeshi demolition shipyards, at around $700 per ton while the average price in India is around $550 per ton.
Considering social, sanitary, and disastrous environmental conditions in Bangladesh, Robin des Bois asks these European companies to either proceed with the preliminary removal of asbestos, to choose the best Asian demolition shipyards within the framework of a specific partnership, or even to demolish and recycle these vessels in Europe. A letter was sent to them in this respect.
The three container ships are frequently in European waters and one of them, the Maersk Barcelona, appeared on the Atlantic front in September 2005, near the island of Sein, off Brittany, by a record “61 km (38 miles) oil slick” that was sanctioned by an $800,000 fine. The inspectors from the vessel security center had revealed a lack of care for the oily waters treatment installation.


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