Aircraft carrier takes final journey

Aircraft carrier takes final journey

All Star Metals will scrap the decommissioned Forrestal in Brownsville, Texas.

February 11, 2014
Recycling Today Staff

The former Forrestal, the U.S. Navy’s first supercarrier, has started its finaly voyage. The vessel’s final trip began in Philadelphia Feb. 4, 2014. It is headed to All Star Metals, which operates a scrap metal facility in Brownsville, Texas. The journey is expected to take 17 days.

All Star Metals (ASM), a subsidiary of Scrap Metal Services LLC (SMS), a Chicago-area scrap recycling company, won the contract to handle the vessel's scrapping Oct. 22, 2013. The contract called for the Navy to pay ASM 1 cent for the job. Transporting the vessel is expected to top $1 million.

ASM, acquired by SMS in 2012, is a ship recycling, metal processing and environmental remediation contractor that operates a facility in Brownsville. The facility provides services to the U.S. government, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and commercial barge and vessel owners.

The Forrestal, slightly more than 1,000 feet, was commissioned in the 1950s and was in service for nearly 40 years before it was decommissioned in 1993.

The vessel is being towed by the Lauren Foss of Foss Maritime Co.

Nikhil Shah, president of ASM, says, “All Star Metals LLC has worked very hard over the last few months to prepare the vessel for tow. We have had tremendous support for all parties involved in the movement. We appreciate all the support, especially from NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command) and the USCG. (U.S. Coast Guard)”

In one published report, Shah says, “This is the largest ship that we’ve ever dismantled, and the largest ship the U.S. government has ever awarded to be dismantled. It’s a very big job to us.”

Once the USS Forrestal safely docks in Texas, the dismantling and recycling process will begin and is estimated to take 18 months to complete.

Navy personnel will be on site full time to monitor ASM’s performance during the dismantling.