The Sale of the HMS Invincible

The first step towards sustainable ship-recycling of EU navies, the path of RECYSHIP

When the United Kingdom decided to sale the Invincible on the internet, first reaction for many was of shock, laugh and disbelieve. However, once all the conditions and the evaluation criteria for the designation of the final destination of the ship are read, things start to get serious.

The majority of the ships sold for scrapping, including navy ships, are usually sold as “ships”. Whoever wants it has to buy it as a product forgetting the basics of residues management within the EU. As it is stated in article 1 of the Directive 2006/12/EU on Waste, “‘waste’ shall mean any substance or object […] which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard”.

With private ships it is complicated to control when a ship stops being such and becomes a residue. There are studies trying to set parameters that may help identifying those ships, however, there is a complicated legal controversy there.

With public ships is a totally different issue. When a government decides to get rid of a ship, not only navy ships, also abandoned or confiscated ships sold by authorities, although there are possible alternatives to scrapping, as transforming it to a museum or a pleasure ship, most of them end up in scrap-yards. However, they are always sold as a ship, as a thing, not as a residue, allowing anyone to bet and making it impossible for scrap-yards to get them for a price that may let them do things in a sustainable way.

The UK has changed that concept. The invincible is a proof of it. It may end up as a museum, if the project presented by a Chinese Businessman proves a proper reconversion, but if it ends up in a scrap-yard, the evaluation criteria followed by the MOD and the conditions and minimum standards that the tender must fulfil do not allow anyone to offer for the ship (see attached annexes K and J from the disposal of the HMS Invincible A111). The ship is, finally, sold as an “unlisted residue”.

If all administrations and authorities followed the same basis, surely the industry of ship recycling would re-develop within EU borders bringing jobs and wealth and solving the problems of one of the forgotten toxic residues that we still produce and do not bother controlling just yet.

4 comentarios to “The Sale of the HMS Invincible”

  1. ecoastur Says:

    You can check how they do it in the UK through… is worth looking at it…

  2. henninggramann Says:

    Very interesting and a rather complex project you´re working on. I´m interested in the outcome and you should consider presenting it at Tradewinds Conference in Dubai from March 1st till 2nd, and / or Informa Lloydsist event in London somewhen in June/July.
    For immediate solutions for shipowners and ship recyclers this prject might not be very useful, but in a few years of course. I hope that practial information from your side will be fully considered by the EC.
    All the best!
    Henning Gramann

    • adminrecyship Says:

      Thanks a lot for you wishes. We do hope we get good data out of the practical part of the project and also that it is actually taken into account by the EC and the DG Env. (although we are a LIFE+ project, we have not managed yet to be included in their web page!! and we tried!!).

      Truth is that not many people are considering the development of this industry within EU borders, but we believe it is a necessary way to go, and more when we consider how things are being done in several EU countries for the dismantling of fishing vessels or army ships. We have studied several places and there is not much difference to that done in southeast Asia…

      About Dubai and London, surely we will be in London and hopefully present the project and some practical data. About Dubai, we are very interested on going although we think it is a bit too late to present anything there. However, if we get to go to Dubai, we will be talking all around as much as we can so people get to know of what we are doing and our objectives.

      Antonio Barredo

  3. ecoastur Says:

    So no museum in Hong Kong, on its way to Aliaga.

    “A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the offer from the Turkish company Leyal Ship Recycling met its financial expectations and also ensures that the ship will be scrapped in an environmentally friendly manner.” BBC world


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