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Ship Recyling as the Alternative to Ship Cemeteries

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Image: Prof. Wilko Flügge (Fraunhofer IGP), Karsten Schumacher and Simeon Hiertz (Leviathan Technologies), Stefan Säuberlich and Marcus Memmleb (IMG) signing the letter of intent on October 27th 2021 at the Fraunhofer IGP in Rostock, formalising their plans for ship recyling. ©Fraunhofer IGP

Rostock. Shipwrecks on the coasts of India and Bangladesh are a present sight in public perception. The local population scrapes a poor living off pulling ships to shore in order to scrap them.

This activity poses a severe ecological risk to the environment and a severe health risk to the people involved. Innovative technological approaches to ship breaking that are safe for both nature and human do not yet exist. 

For this very reason, the Fraunhofer Institute for Large Structures in Production Engineering IGP, entrepreneurs Simeon Hiertz and Karsten Schumacher, and IMG have joined forces to combine their resources in order to lead the research into ship recyling projects.

"We have had this on our radar for a long time. We have tried addressing the problem scientifically, unfortunately not yet to any avail. The reasons for this are the low steel price and the low scrap metal rates. The need for green resources and the will to reduce  environmental harm during scrapping make this question an interesting one in the political and economic dimension. Especially since the scrapped steel is pure, clean and perfectly suited to the electro steel processing route, which currently exclusively supplies the green steel materials used in automobile manufacturing." Quoted here, Professor Wilko Flügge.

The signing of this letter of intent paves the first step on the way to our first planned project. "We are happy to be collaborating with Leviathan Technologies and IMG. Our first project will be the exploration of safe, efficient and ecologically-friendly technologies in ship breaking." Quoted here, Dr. Jan Sender, Head of the Fraunhofer IGP Department for Production Organising and Logistics.

The Leviathan is a mythological creature of the sea, a beast rising  up from the depths of the ocean to devour ships. CEOs Simeon Hiertz and Karsten Schumacher baptised their company in this name for that particular reason. The company aims to recycle ships with no adverse effects on the environment. "I am looking forward to a successful partnership with IMG and Fraunhofer IGP, and all the innovation we will be bringing to the much neglected field of ship recycling. Our goal is to pull these ships from the coastlines and to process them in clean industrial plants in Germany and Europe, thereby contributing to the efforts of a CO2 neutral economy." Quoted here, CEO Simeon Hiertz of Leviathan Technologies.

IMG from Rostock hails this cooperation as an important step towards the future: "As the leading provider of complex plant and transport technology and engineering provider in the maritime industry, we are well aware of our corporate environmental responsibility. We are delighted to be part of this endeavour and excited to be bringing our expertise to shipyard construction and plant development. This is our share in creating a sustainable, safe and economically sound ship recycling." Quoted here, CEO Stefan Säuberlich of IMG.

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