BROWNSVILLE, Texas – June 6, 2022 – When it comes to the ship recycling industry, the Port of Brownsville is among the most trusted in the nation. Home to three major ship recycling facilities, All Star Metals, International Shipbreaking Ltd./EMR, and SteelCoast, these companies capture over 85 percent of the U.S. Navy and MARAD ship recycling business.
Each of these experienced and safety-driven recycling companies continue to win a steady stream of major recycling contracts from the U.S. Government.
This year ship recycling projects at the port have continued to solidify the port’s reputation as the premier ship recycling port of the U.S. In early April, All Star Metals received two U.S. Navy Austin-class amphibious transport docks – the USS Nashville and USS Ponce – for recycling. SteelCoast on June 3 announced the completion of the recycling of the USS Petersburg, three months ahead of schedule and without a safety incident.
Hundreds of people stood along the shoreline of South Padre Island on May 31, to behold the arrival of the USS Kitty Hawk, the sixth US Navy Aircraft Carrier to arrive at the port for recycling. ISL won the Navy contract and responsibility to recycle the Kitty Hawk, representing the fourth carrier it recycles. The recycling process of the esteemed vessel includes safety and environmental assessment, cleaning/remediation, waste disposal, structural dismantling, demilitarization, and metal processing, separation, and sale.
ISL Vice President Bob Berry said the 18-month long project will result in an estimated 97 percent of materials recycled from the 61,351 gross ton vessel.
The benefits of ship recycling make a significant environmental impact as fewer resources are required to manufacture products from metal scrap as compared to metal ore. Additionally, recycling steel scrap from end-of-life ships reduces air and water pollution and water consumption.
This thriving industry supports hundreds of well-paying jobs throughout the Rio Grande Valley, and the employment opportunities continue to grow with each project arriving at the port.
For the completion of the USS Kitty Hawk project, ISL has hired 30 new employees and will continue to add 30 more. Another Navy aircraft carrier, the USS John F. Kennedy, is expected to arrive by Christmas to ISL’s shipyard.
On the horizon, the future of the ship recycling industry at the port is bright.
“ISL has been awarded five more U.S. Navy ships for recycling,” said Berry. “We are expanding and modernizing our operations to safely recycle the next generation of U.S. Navy ships.”