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Pilot Project Demonstrates Cold Cutting for Sustainable Ship Recycling

cold cutting for sustain ship recycling
A 56-year-old barge was lifted into place on June 17 as the pilot project forthe cold cutting technology (Leviathan)

Published Jun 17, 2022 6:18 PM by The Maritime Executive

The first vessel for a new sustainable ship recycling operation in Germany arrived at the shipyard in Kiel where the pilot project will proceed over the next few weeks. A German startup called Leviathan is working with Germany Naval Yards to demonstrate their process in order to apply for acceptance by the EU.

Leviathan reports it has spent more than 10 years developing sustainable recycling technologies for ships. The cutting will be done with cold cutting technology. According to the company, trials on test objects have shown that clean cutting technology can reduce CO2 emissions during the dismantling process by a factor of 300. They have been working to optimize and mechanize the processes to both be safe and economic for the recycling of ships on an industrial scale.

The sustainable recycling process will now be applied for the first time on a 123-foot-long landing boat at the German Naval Yards’ facility using the technologies developed by Leviathan. The 56-year-old vessel, the HC Hagemann 1, had been operating as a supply ship. She arrived at the Kiel yard on June 14 and today, June 17, they lifted the 147 dwt vessel into position. Under EU rules, the cutting needs to be done on a solid base so that no hazardous materials reach the soil. 

"For German Naval Yards, who traditionally builds and converts vessels, environmentally friendly recycling is a welcome new challenge that we gladly embrace," says Sofien Lamiri, Chief Operating Officer at German Naval Yards.

Work on the cutting will begin on June 20 and is expected to last up to six weeks. As part of the unique project, the yard also will be offering artists the opportunity to reuse parts and materials from the vessel to further process them or convert them into works of art.

“This is an important milestone and now the performance of the ESG-compliant recycling process can be verified in the next weeks,” said Karsten Schumacher, Managing Partner at Leviathan. After the successful trial, the companies will apply for approval following EU regulations.