Hitachi selected for salvage at sea
Three large Hitachi Zaxis excavators have been selected to help clear one of the biggest ship graveyards in the world. Around 300 vessels have been abandoned in Nouadhibou Bay, Mauretania, over the past 20 years.
In a bid to regenerate the dangerously crowded port, an operation is now underway to clear the decaying wrecks, which range from 200 to 1,200 tonnes. The three ZX870-3s will be used by Dutch company Mammoet Salvage to remove and break 70 of the floating carcasses.
The European Union is investing €28.8million in the project, the aim of which is to clear the waterway for the large amount of fishing and industrial maritime traffic in the area. The graveyard has caused the shipping industry to decline in recent years, as the shipwrecks pose a hazard to the environment and their surroundings because the they contain dangerous substances, including oil residues, asbestos and insulation materials.
Work on the project has just begun and is expected to take a total of 22-months. The Zaxis excavators will be used by Mammoet Salvage to break the rotting ships into smaller, more manageable pieces. The ZX870-3s will be working from a pontoon, as the vessels are all anchored out at sea.
The machines were modified and supplied to the customer in just three weeks by The Netherlands’ official Hitachi dealer, Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME) Domestic. Each ZX870-3 was fitted with a powerful cutting tool and had its arm extended by 1.5 metres. Five tonne counterweights were fitted to ensure they will safely handle large pieces of metal. The machines were also fitted with tracks designed to be safely used on the pontoon.
HCME Domestic PR & Marketing Coordinator, Esther Navest, says: “We were able to supply the three ZX870-3 machines quickly and to the correct specification, which was of course important to the customer. This is a significant project and will reap both environmental benefits and economic rewards for Nouadhibou Bay and the surrounding area.”
In order to read a PDF file, you need to have Adobe Reader installed in your computer.