Damen embarks on a pilot project for circular ship recycling

Dutch Damen Shipyards Group is launching a pilot project in which a small tug will be dismantled at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam’s Botlek site in a circular way and entirely in line with EU regulations.

Courtesy of Damen

The project will serve as a trial, after which this approach of green ship dismantling and recycling will be made available commercially, and also for larger vessels.

“This pilot project fits in perfectly with our ambitions to become the most sustainable shipbuilder in the world,” explained Arnout Damen, the CEO of Damen Shipyards Group.

“The question is not just how we design, build, maintain and refit our ships, but also, and precisely, how we dismantle them at the end of their lifespan and, most importantly: recycling.”

The Jan, which was built in 1927, will be dismantled in line with the regulations set out in the Ship Recycling Facility Plan at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam’s Botlek site. That is one of the few sites in the Netherlands on the EU list of certified ship recycling facilities, so a safe and environmentally friendly dismantling of the 15.4-meter-long tug can be guaranteed.

Bottelier Slooptechniek Bottelier Slooptechniek is the partner in the alliance responsible for the dismantling and sorting work: the company is a fully certified specialist in circular demolition.

“We identify all the materials from the Jan and assess their potential for reuse,” Nick van Egten, commercial director and co-owner of the Bottelier Group, said.

“In that way, the maximum environmental and economic return can be generated from the materials in their residual life.”

After the completion of the pilot project, there will be complete transparency about the amount of dismantled materials and how they have been reused, recycled, or disposed of.

An approach has already been drafted with respect to the commercialization and financing of circular ship dismantling projects in the future. Damen Financial Services is working in this area with Offshore Ship Recycling Rotterdam.

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