Irish-owned company to develop global centre of excellence for ship dismantling

25 Mar 2013

UCC president Dr Michael Murphy (centre) welcomes a delegation from the Dalian University of Technology China. Photo by Jim Coughlan

Irish-owned CEMS-Dalian Industry Company (CEMS-D) will develop an environmentally safe centre for ship dismantling and recycling in one of the busiest ports in the world.

CEMS-D has formed an alliance with a private Chinese company to design, develop and operate the dismantling and recycling facility, which will operate out of Zhuanghe, located north-east of Beijing. Here, hazardous materials will be recycled or disposed of to the highest standards of environmental safety using state-of-the-art technology.

“We aim to make this facility a global centre of excellence for ship dismantling and recycling and have received excellent support from the local and national Chinese governments,” said John Cronin, founder and chair of CEMS-D.

The decision to locate the facility in China is strategic, as 10 of the world’s 20 busiest ports are located here and demand for expertise in ship dismantling and expertise is significant. Worldwide, it is predicted that 32m tonnes of shipping vessels should be scrapped annually by 2014. However, this is an expensive, slow process and there is currently a backlog.

Collaboration between Cork and Dalian

A delegation from Dalian, China, visited Ireland last week to meet with Government representatives and academics in the fields of environmental science and maritime engineering. On Friday, they visited the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork, where a memorandum of understanding between UCC and Dalian University of Technology China was signed.

This memorandum of understanding represents co-operation between the two universities on a range of projects, initially focusing on environmental sciences, coastal management and maritime engineering with a view to moving into areas such as food science and technology in future.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.