Maritime Administration News Release

News Release #: MARAD 03-08
Date: Jan 29 2008
Contact: Shannon Russell
Contact Phone: 202-336-5807

U.S. Department of Transportation Sells Three Ships for Recycling

One from James River, Two from Texas

Taking advantage of the growing demand for scrap steel, the U.S. Maritime Administration has sold three obsolete ships, all to be recycled at facilities in Brownsville, Texas, for a total of $161,673.

“These arrangements provide a fiscally responsible way to speed ship disposal,” explained Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton.

The sale stands in contrast to most ship disposal contracts in recent years, which have involved the federal government paying to have ships recycled. High worldwide prices for scrap steel have recently made such ships more valuable to the recycling facility, which has the right to sell the steel and other materials recovered from the ships.

The three ships are: the Bayamon, a roll-on/roll-off vehicle carrier built in 1970, sold to All Star Metals LLC of Brownsville, Texas for $12,221; the Del Valle, a breakbulk freighter built in 1968, sold to All Star for $62,726; and the Maine, a breakbulk freighter built in 1944, sold to ESCO Marine for $86,726. When the Bayamon departs, it will be the 67th vessel to be removed from the James River Fleet since January of 2001. The Del Valle and the Maine will be towed from the Beaumont Reserve Fleet in Texas, to Brownsville, Texas.

The Maritime Administration keeps ships in three National Defense Reserve Fleet sites to support Armed Forces movements and to respond to national emergencies. Those sites are the James River Reserve Fleet in Newport News, Virginia; Beaumont Reserve Fleet in Beaumont, Texas; and Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in Benicia, California. When the ships become obsolete, the Maritime Administration arranges for their disposition in an environmentally sensitive manner.