ISL Completes First EU Ship Recycling Project in the U.S.

Recycler EMR Group announced on April 25 the completion of the first European Union ship recycled in the United States by International Shipbreaking Ltd (ISL).

The project follows a $30 million investment in new equipment and processes at ISL’s site at the Port of Brownsville to meet the requirements of the rigorous EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SSR).

The MT Wolverine is a 158-meter-long chemical tanker with a carrying capacity of 16,000 tons. Prior to being decommissioned, she was sailing under the flag of Norway. Using innovative and sustainable recycling processes, ISL was able to recycle 97 percent of the materials removed from the MT Wolverine.

“The arrival of MT Wolverine at our Brownville site was a proud day for everyone at International Shipbuilding Ltd,” said Chris Green, Senior Manager at ISL. “By investing $30 million in the latest technology, equipment and infrastructure, our business has become the first in the U.S. to be able to recycle ships to a level compliant with the EU Ship Recycling Regulation. The MT Wolverine shows that this effort and commitment is paying off.”

ISL’s investment will help reduce the number of end-of-life vessels that are broken up, in rudimentary and often very unsafe conditions, on the beaches of South Asia. As of 2018, over 90 percent of merchant vessels were disposed this way.

“Around the world there are still too many ships that end their days being recycled in dangerous and environmentally-harmful yards on the other side of the world”, said Green. “By continuing to raise our standards, International Shipbreaking Ltd is showing responsible ship owners there is a better way to do business.”

The MT Wolverine was accepted for recycling on January 31, 2021 and is one of 28 projects undertaken by the company during the past year. ISL has the capacity to safely moor and recycle ships over 1200 feet (366m) in length and 158 feet (48 meters) wide.

The ship was built by Aker Tulcea SC SA in 2006. An Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) was completed by the ship’s owner, which ISL reviewed before developing the MT Wolverine Ship Recycling Plan.

“ISL completed the MT Wolverine ship recycling project without any recordable injuries to our employees, hazardous or regulated material spills, or regulatory violations of any kind”, said Green. “This represents a new era for International Shipbreaking Ltd. and our parent company EMR in the marine recycling industry.”

The project is fully compliant with the EU SRR with all waste materials removed from the MT Wolverine disposed of in accordance with the EU SRR requirements. The EU SRR helps responsible ship owners make the shipbreaking industry greener and safer. Increasingly, banks and investors are unwilling to fund shipping companies who cannot prove that their ships are recycled responsibly.

The MT Wolverine moored at International Shipbreaking Ltd’s yard at the Port of Brownsville.