Ship Recycling Facility Opens in Roosevelt Roads
SAN JUAN — A new ship recycling facility centered on environmentally sustainable operations and industrial development has commenced operations at the former U.S. Naval Base at Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba.
The new facility, operated by U.S.-based Marine Environmental Remediation Group (MER), is expected to initially create about 700 jobs and inject an estimated capital investment of $19 million into the local economy for the reclamation of steel and other metals recovered using state-of-the-art “green” technology, and the reselling of vessel machinery and equipment recycled from seagoing vessels and platforms that have been retired from use.
Operated locally by MER Group Puerto Rico, the newly refitted MER Group U.S. East Coast/Caribbean facility has been established on land leased from the Local Redevelopment Authority. With almost 3,000 linear feet of quay at the current facility, MER will be able to accommodate multiple vessels simultaneously. MER plans to recycle at least 50,000 LDTs (Light Displacement Tonnage – the weight of a ship excluding cargo, fuel, water, ballast, stores, passengers, crew, but with water in boilers to steaming level) annually. The 4,000 LDT retired pipe-laying vessel Lone Star has already been moved into place as preparations for recycling begin
MER will supply the steel produced at Roosevelt Roads to consumers around the world, increasing global trade with Puerto Rico.
Ship recycling worldwide provides more than 600 million tons of steel and other recovered materials, representing approximately 40% of global demand for raw materials, and generating a combined revenue exceeding $200 billion. In 2014, facilities in India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh represented 91% of all vessel demolition, with India holding the largest market share.
The U.S. and Europe require vessel demolition to be carried out at facilities conforming to recently established and considerably higher operational standards, creating a new market for advanced vessel recycling technologies and procedures.
Virginia-based Clark Realty Capital was chosen in 2014 by Puerto Rico and the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority as the property’s master developer.
The redevelopment project proposed by Clark Realty Capital includes hotel and ecotourism developments, housing, office buildings, a shopping center, shops, restaurants, light industrial area, cruise port area, a regional marine terminal for speedboats, schools, entertainment areas, golf courses, among other uses. Nearly 3,000 acres make up the former Navy Base in Ceiba.