SS Cape Florida arrives at Port of Brownsville

International Shipbreaking Ltd. LLC, part of EMR, has been awarded the contract to transport, strip and recycle the decommissioned barge carrier SS Cape Florida.

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International Shipbreaking Ltd. LLC (ISL), Brownsville, Texas, was awarded the contract to transport, strip and recycle the decommissioned barge carrier SS Cape Florida July 6. The company says it made preparations to move the Cape Florida from Beaumont, Texas, to the Port of Brownsville in Texas, where the ship arrived Aug. 13.

The shop was built at Avondale Industries Corp. in New Orleans in 1970 and is a Maritime Administration design lighter aboard ship (LASH) barge carrier, which transport light unpowered barges, “lighters,” and are commonly called “Kangaroo Ships." The ship has a large gantry crane system capable of lifting these barges out of the water for loading and placing them back in the water at the destination.

It was purchased in 1986 by the U.S. Maritime Administration and has been deployed all around the world from the Suez Canal in Egypt to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Germany. Throughout 34 years, the ship took part in operations including Operation Desert Storm in 1990 an Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2005.

"It is with great pride that we have been awarded this ship recycling contract," Chris Green, the senior manager of the Brownsville site says. "Extensive safety and environmental assessments are taking place on board to ensure that this ship recycling project is carried out to the highest standards.” 

The project, which should be done in early 2021, will see 98 percent of the materials being recycled, ISL says.

ISL is part of U.K.-based EMR Ltd.