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Dutch group plots automated recycling yards to compete with Asia

A majority of the world’s ships are dismantled through a process known as beaching, in which ships are taken apart by hand on beaches, typically in South-East Asia.

The practice fails to abide by European environmental and social safety standards, and is incredibly dangerous and labour intensive. As it exists now, the practice threatens the lives of workers and costal communities and poses a threat to marine and costal ecosystems.

To tackle this dilemma, THRUST has come together with Aseco Europe, and KCI to form CMT, Circular Maritime Technologies International.

The Dutch start-up aims to tackle the unsustainable shipbreaking practices that undergird the maritime industry. This mission comes with increasing urgency as the number of ships to be dismantled is forecast to increase in the coming years.

CMT will combine and develop technologies to create the world’s first circular dismantling yard, initially focusing on the largest and most contaminated ships which offer both the biggest competitive advantages and potential impact. The yard will run on its own power and produce clean steel and reduce the size of the vessel step by step through various automated tools, up to the point where each part of the ship’s steel structure is reduced to many small pieces. The CMT yard will go from a 3D structure to a 2D material package of steel plates, a process the company says will be executed quickly and precisely, managed by tailored control tools and software, overseen by CMT staff.

Among CMT’s backers are Damen Shipyards, Huisman Equipment, Jansen Recycling Group, and Sojitz Corporation.

Photo: CMT