German green recycler Leviathan is preparing to demolish its first vessel.

The Kiel yard said the veteran 37.5m-loa, 176-gt construction vessel HC Hagemann 1 (built 1955) has been lifted out of the water and into its dry dock, where it will undergo cold-cutting over the next few weeks.

The unit is owned by HC Hagemann of Hamburg.

“Leviathan can now recycle the first ship almost emissions-free,” said Leviathan, which works with the support of German Naval Yards.

Leviathan described its first operation as an important milestone.

“The process for green ship recycling developed by Leviathan satisfies the owner’s wish to be a pioneer in green ship recycling in Germany and that the ship will find its way as [a] valuable resource in a circular economy,” it said.

The company revealed backing this month from German investment funds 1-4-9-Invest Fonds and Karlsson.

Karsten Schumacher, managing director of Leviathan, said: “We are excited to offer shipping companies and owners a sustainable and climate-neutral possibility for ship recycling soon.

Challenges ahead

“We have quite some challenges and tasks ahead, and with our strong partners, we can tackle them. Our goal is to bring ship recycling into the 21st century with an industrialised and sustainable process.”

The company promises a “clean and responsible” solution for a serious problem.

The prospect of local recycling offers European shipowners the chance to enjoy strong charter rates for longer, it said.

Further facilities in Europe are planned.

Leviathan said its process results in large quantities of the highest-quality steel scrap.

“The market has a high demand for such a premium resource. With each tonne of steel produced with recycled steel, about 1.6 tonnes less CO2 is emitted, as compared to new steel,” it added.

Cold-cutting avoids the need for expensive, time-consuming preparations for hot work, the yard claimed.