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Marine Decommissioning

ABLE is one of the most adept organisations in the world when it comes to the decommissioning and recycling of end of life vessels and marine structures. This is part due to the unique offer to undertake the work at the large scale, specialised ABLE Seaton Port Facility in Hartlepool, North East of England.

We have the capabilities and track record to tackle the most complex and demanding projects and our strong in-house capabilities have enabled us to undertake a variety of challenging assignments for a number of well-established clients whose high standards have always been met or surpassed.

ABLE Seaton Port has the extremely rare and prized distinction of being the only facility outside of the United States that has been certified by the US Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) for the decommissioning of its redundant assets. Four of the vessels from the MARAD Fleet were decommissioned there in 2008/9.

In addition to this, the French Government selected ABLE Seaton Port’s dry dock as the decommissioning facility for their flagship aircraft carrier ‘Le Clemenceau’ in 2009/10. This was a high profile commission awarded to ABLE signalling a step-change in Western nations approach to end of life vessel recycling.

Owing to the complications and structure of these obsolete vessels, strict care is afforded towards the decommissioning process. Overall, ABLE was able to provide a recycling rate of 98% + and with full traceability of all waste streams.

Bespoke working practices can be developed for future projects to ensure our client’s needs are met.


On the 7th May 2017 the 24,200-tonne Shell Brent Delta topside was skidded onto the new multi-million-pound ASP Quay Six, one of the strongest in Europe, for the start of the decommissioning process.

The topside was transported from the Brent oil and gas field north-east of the Shetland Islands in a highly-complex and ground-breaking operation, using the largest construction vessel ever built, the Allseas Pioneering Spirit. After arriving off the North East coast the topside was transferred to a 200 metre-long barge, the Iron Lady which was successfully moored at ABLE’s specialist facility.


Track Record

ABLE’s track record of undertaking complex marine decommissioning projects speaks for itself:

Oil / Gas Platform/ Jacket Year
Phillips Albusk Jell 1985
Shell Bravo 1994
Shell Dunlin 1994
Shell Cormorant A 1995
Shell Charlie 1996
Shell Leman Topsides 1996
BHP Esmond 1996
Shell Delta 1997
Shell Leman Jacket 1997
NAM K11 1998/9
TotalFinaElf Frigg/Frǿy 2000/2001
ExxonMobil NAM K14 2001/2002
Mobil Camelot CB 2002/2003
Grove Platform 2004
BP North West Hutton 2008/2010
Conocophillips Phoenix Module 2016
Shell Brent Delta 2017

The dry dock facility at ABLE Seaton Port has handled the following end of life marine vessel recycling projects.

Vessels Year
Clyde & Tyne (Split Hopper Barges) 2009/2010
MARAD Canopus (MARAD Auxiliary Fleet) 2009/2010
MARAD Caloosahatchee (MARAD Auxiliary Fleet) 2009/2010
MARAD Compass Island (MARAD Auxiliary Fleet) 2009/2010
MARAD Canisteo (MARAD Auxiliary Fleet) 2009/2010
SSF Le Clemenceau (French Navy Aircraft Carrier) 2009/2010
Viking Vulcan (Fire & Rescue) 2009/2010

Why not take a look at the Demolition services we offer CLICK HERE