Global metal recycling firm EMR recently towed into one of its Gulf of Mexico ship-breaking facilities the fifth vessel from a fleet of six United States Navy vessels awarded to the United Kingdom-based firm for dismantling by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).
The decommissioned Ticonderoga class cruiser, USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51), is the only ship in its class to be named after a person and not after a famous American battle. The ship was decommissioned on Dec. 14, 2005, and docked in Philadelphia until it was towed to New Orleans for scrapping in July 2017.
The ship’s service includes conducting operations in the Maritime Intercept Force and acting as the flagship for NATO’s Standing Naval Forces Atlantic, a permanent peacetime, multinational naval squadron.
The metal recycling yard in New Orleans is operated by the Southern Recycling subsidiary of EMR. It has taken delivery of previous U.S. Navy ships in recent years, including USS Forrest Sherman (DD 931), USS George Philip (FFG 12) and USS Jarrett (FFG 33).
“We were honored to be awarded the contract to dismantle these vessels, which have a history of important service to their country along with their dedicated crews,” says Andrew Sheppard, chief operating officer of Southern Recycling. “We have invested heavily in our ship-breaking facilities to ensure that we have the right people, processes and technology to carry out specialist marine recycling contracts in the safest and most environmentally responsible manner.”
Continues Sheppard, “Our goal is to recycle as much of the material from the ship as possible. Metal recovered from the Thomas S. Gates will be melted down and repurposed to make new products and, who knows, maybe even a new U.S. Navy vessel to serve her country.”
The ship is 567 feet long and 55 feet wide and will take approximately six months to scrap in a dismantling process that has already begun.
EMR is a family business and one of world’s largest metal recyclers. It has around 170 facilities globally, employs more than 4,000 people, has annual sales in excess of $3 billion and is involved in the sale of some 10 million tons per year of recycled raw materials.