Istanbul, March 5 () - The dismantling of an oil refining ship named “Kuito” which operated off Angola for many years, has begun in Turkey’s Aegean province of İzmir, despite fears the ship may contain radioactive material.
A team of 150 workers is scheduled to dismantle the ship within a year in the Aliağa shipyard in the Aegean coast.
The country’s union of chambers and environmentalists objected to the dismantling decision on the grounds that the ship was loaded with radioactive material. The ship, anchored in Aliağa on Feb. 4, came ashore on Feb. 6 despite the objections.
It had previously been reported the ship was free of radioactive material and hazardous waste according to the tests carried out by a private firm authorized by the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK).
Authorities involved in the process have assured every step of the dismantling process is going to be watched closely and surveys will be reported on a daily basis. Accordingly, the test results will be given to the relevant institutions.
Meanwhile, at a press conference held earlier February, Baran Bozoğlu, the chamber of environmental engineers head under the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), warned about the risks of dismantling the ship due to potential radioactive materials.
“Once the ship anchors in Aliağa, it will be very difficult to send it back to Angola,” Bozoğlu had said.
In the aftermath of the process, 46,000 tonnes of scrap steel will be derived from Kuito.
The 350-meter-long ship refined crude oil beginning in 197, and began its Angola mission in 2000 after a 1999 modification. At peak operation it refined 100,000 barrels of oil daily and had a storage capacity of 1.4 million barrels.