May 2008

Obsolete ship sold for $1.3 million

The United States Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has sold a ship from the Beaumont Reserve Fleet for more than $1million, the first time under the current program that a ship has brought such a price.

International Shipbreaking, Ltd., in Texas, will pay $1,151,727 for the ship Adonis, now moored at the Beaumont Reserve Fleet site in Texas. Three other government-owned, obsolete ships are also being sold to the company for an additional $173,297, the Cape Catawba, the Cape Canaveral and the Buyer.

These sales stand in contrast to most ship disposal contracts in recent years, which have involved the federal government paying to have its obsolete ships recycled. High worldwide prices for scrap steel have recently made such ships more valuable to recyclers who sell the steel and materials recovered from the ships.

Two of the ships being sold, the Cape Catawba and the Cape Canaveral, are breakbulk freighters and when they depart the James River site for recycling, they will be the 70th and 71st vessel to do so since January of 2001.