This time around, three yards in Alang seem to have broken ranks from the rest of the crowd in India as well as southeast Asia and surged ahead, reportedly, over its improvement in demolition procedures. Maersk had taken under its wing three demolition yards, focusing on responsible recycling of ships.
The spokesperson for A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, is reported to have stated, that the three yards in Alang, were performing at the levels better than the yards in China and Turkey.
The encomium coming from Maersk, carries a certain amount of cache. The three yards in Alang can justifiably be proud of its progress in achieving responsible demolition standards.
At other times Alang has been in the news for receiving ships – some famous and some infamous.
One of the most luxurious cruise ship of its time, ‘The Blue Lady’ was demolished in Alang.
St Mont, a crude oil tanker, one of the largest ship ever built, is now resting in peace, in the yards of Alang, after a tumultuous past. During the 1988 Iran-Iraq War she was damaged by an air force attack in the Strait of Hormuz. She was retrieved and repaired and put back into service. She was renamed as ‘Happy Giant’. Her overall length was 1504 ft, longer than the 1311 ft OOCL Hong Kong, the newest container ship with the largest carrying of 21000 teus plus.
MV Kota Tanjong, a general cargo ship, was the first vessel to have been demolished in Alang.
Alang was again mired in a controversy when the Supreme Court of India prohibited the entry of the French aircraft carrier Clemenceau, for demolition. The Clemenceau has sailed in all the seas of the world, logging more than one million nautical miles equivalent of circumnavigating the globe 48 times.
One of the most infamous ships dismantled in Alang had been the ‘Oriental Nicety’ or better known as ‘Exxon Valdez’. It is a name synonymous with one of the worst oil spill disaster in maritime history. In 1989 she ran aground off the coast of Alaska with devastating consequences.
Paradoxically the name Exxon Valdez is also synonymous with a number of comprehensive measures that were put in place, post the incident, for preventing marine pollution. The rules are now formally known as MARPOL. It was only post Exxon Valdez incident that double hull ships were introduced.
When the vessel was finally scrapped a journal announced its demise with this obituary:
“The Oriental Nicety (née Exxon Valdez), born in 1986 in San Diego, California, has died after a long struggle with bad publicity.”
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Source: Economic Times