Mammoet to remove shipwrecks in Mauretania
By Alex Dahm04 January 2011
Netherlands-based Mammoet Salvage has received an order for the salvage of 70 shipwrecks in Mauretania, North Africa.
Mammoet Salvage, part of leading international heavy lifting and transport specialist Mammoet, and 11 other international salvage companies bid on the Nouadhibou Bay project. Mammoet said it was awarded the contract on the basis of the solution offered and the company's expertise in salvage and environmental protection.
The European Union has made €28.8 million (US$39 million) available for removing the wrecks and the 22 month salvage operation will start in April 2011. A range of equipment and 25 salvage personnel will be committed to the job.
Nouadhibou Bay, which has an average water depth of 10 metres, is busy with industrial shipping and fishing vessels. The shipwrecks range from 200 to 1,200 tonnes and are hazardous obstacles to shipping. As a consequence, shipping traffic in the area has declined. The shipwrecks are also an environmental hazard with physical and chemical contamination from oil residues, insulation, asbestos and more.
Removing the wrecks will protect the bay against pollution by chemicals in them. It will return the area to its original state and allow nature to develop fully. Accessibility to the port will also be greatly improved.