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Cost-Effective and Environmentally Sound Dismantling of Obsolete Vessels

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Infrastructure Node
Total project cost
€2 559 292
EU Contribution
€1 570 000
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

With its last expansion, the European Union now has the largest fleet in the world. Therefore the problem of ship recycling in the EU is important, particularly after the adoption of new regulations that ban the sailing of single hull tankers which do not conform to the new MARPOL convention. This new situation covers worldwide shipping and there is the prospect of these regulations being extended to bulk carriers. This means many ship owners will be obliged to withdraw their ships gradually and replace them with new double-hulled ones. It is therefore evident that the demand for ship recycling is expected to rise in the near future.

Despite its importance, the vast volume of ship-dismantling activities is performed in a rather unacceptable manner. The whole procedure is rather bottom based, far from being optimal, environmentally friendly or labour considerate. Workers are unaware of the hazards to which they are likely to be exposed. A number of fatal accidents have occurred in the past as a result of explosions, fires and heavy metal plates falling from the upper parts of the ships. Moreover the local environment is heavily polluted. From the above, one can easily conclude that the practices currently followed are far from optimal with a severe impact on both the environment and the workers; the related processes are also ineffective and inefficient.


The specific objectives of the project were:

  • to develop generic guidelines for innovative ship-dismantling and recycling operations consisting of the optimal design of a prototype ship-dismantling site, the optimisation of ship-breaking facilities and dismantling processes with respect to environmental, cost and energy issues, as well as to issues concerning occupational hazards (related to workers' safety and health);
  • to restructure, according to the above generic guidelines, already operational ship-breaking yards, which are currently active in dismantling. The final designs will be optimised through the use of dynamic simulation software tools;
  • to develop a decision support system (DSS) for the ship-breaking industry, which will take into consideration the existing facilities and dismantling methodologies of the given ship breaker, the type, history and the particular characteristics of the ship and the third parties' reports (including the inventory of hazardous material on board);
  • to support the decision of accepting or rejecting any obsolete vessel for dismantling at a given site, based on the comparison of the available against the required infrastructure;
  • to validate the proposed IS tools and methodologies through real case studies.

Expected project deliverables included:

  • processes for safe removal of hazardous substances and their secure disposal;
  • environmental, occupational safety and health management plans;
  • generic guidelines for optimal ship-breaking facilities;
  • DSS-SBP analysis;
  • optimal design and re-organisation of active dismantling sites dealing with full and partial dismantling;
  • implementation of the containment system for the full dismantling site;
  • real case application, assessment for full dismantling;
  • results analysis of both improved sites and DSS.

The project was expected to have a significant impact if adopted by ship-breaking yards. Environmental pollution will be decreased and labour safety will improve. Moreover on a policy-making level, the project's results stressed the importance of the 'green passport' concept, or at least the existence of an inventory of hazardous materials on the ship to be dismantled. The DSS tool that is going to be developed is expected to assist ship-breaking yards in deciding whether to accept or reject ships to be broken in order to ensure a more sound and environmentally friendly disman


The section below lists the activities undertaken and the research methods employed in the ShipDismantl project:

  • a thorough investigation into the identification and assessment of all the parameters involved in dismantling, such as strategies, methodologies and procedures, hazardous materials, health and safety problems, cost and energy parameters, and new technologies which may be introduced to the ship-breaking industry and contribute to environmental, health and safety issues;
  • research towards the preparation of guidelines for the establishment of environmental, waste treatment, and occupational safety and health management plans;
  • the development of innovative dismantling strategies and procedures. More specifically, a generic approach to the optimal design of a prototype-dismantling site is developed which covers layout and processing issues. The proposed design is performed in a collaborative way, through experimentation by dynamic simulation;
  • the development of a fully operational decision support system for ship-breaking processes (DSS-SBP);
  • the amendment of the existing infrastructure of a full and a partial dismantling site;
  • activities towards the proper and effective exploitation and dissemination of the scientific results and technology transfer.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The main results of the project are described as outputs of the following work packages (WP):

WP 3

Summarising, the report on WP 3 dealt with the identification, handling, and storage of hazardous wastes on board. Ambient environmental monitoring plan for ship breaking industry along with standards / limits for each of the environmental parameters have been specified. Further, emergency plan was developed that will help the owners or operators of the ship breaking facility to minimize and regulate the hazards to human health and environment. Studies related to waste recycling/ reprocessing and resale have been studied and reported. Also, guidelines for waste management were developed that delineates treatment and disposal options for hazardous wastes that are generated during ship dismantling. Thus, the study carried out in WP 3 will help in identifying the hazardous wastes and managing these wastes in environmentally friendly manner. The strategy, methodology and measures for Occupational Safety and Health Management Plan are also reported based on a preventive philosophy addressed to all kinds of ill-health caused by the work conditions and are intended to be applicable to all possible types of ship dismantling facilities, both those mainly based on manual work and those using mechanical methods in a larger extend, taking even in account social parameters related to local conditions.

WP 4

Efficient use of industrial facilities is affected by facility design characteristics and decisions made at the earlier stages of plant development. In ship-dismantling literature, the current discussion is limited to basic block layouts, or model layouts, of main operational zones. In this study, a systematic approach to planning of a generic shipdismantling facility has been presented. Developed layout alternatives and layout scorecard has been discussed within a case study.

WP 5

WP5 consisted of 5 tasks concerning the analysis, design, implementation and verification of a Decision Support system, against existing data and the development of a Safety-Health /Environment Management Information System (SHE-MIS).

The system analysis constitutes the first task of WP5: 'Development of a Decision Support System for Ship Breaking Processes (DSS-SBP)'. The proposed overall framework supports a collaborative modelling activity, populated by input data, further enhanced with simulations executed by a technical facilitator. Prior to the system design and imp


Lead Organisation
Naftosol Sa
Chrisostomou Smirnis 68, PIREAUS, Greece
Organisation website
Partner Organisations
Laboratory Of Technology And Strength Of Materials - University Of Patras
Panepistimioupolis Rion, 26500 PATRAS, Greece
Organisation website
EU Contribution
University Of Strathclyde
Richmond Street, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution
Leyal Turizm Insaat Mobilya Sanayi Ve Ticaret Ltd.
Musa Dayi Sk. Dulek Is Merkezi No:7 Kat 5, MECIDIYEKOY-SISLI-ISTANBUL, Turkey
EU Contribution
Medimetal Sa
Vaktargatan 40C, UPPSALA, Sweden
EU Contribution
Indian Institute Of Technology Bombay
Powai, Mumbai 400076, India
EU Contribution
Kingston Computer Consultancy Limited
Talbot House, 204-226 Imperial Drive, HARROW, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution


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