In the Telegraph, Alan Tovey looks at a British ship-breaking firm trying to retain some of the market for dismantling decommissioned ships of the Royal Navy:
A British family firm is fighting to end the forlorn sight of once-proud Royal Navy warships being torn to pieces for scrap on foreign beaches.
Swansea Drydocks is vying for the contract to break up three decommissioned British frigates. The company is hoping to beat foreign competition — primarily from Turkey — to win the tender to recycle unwanted Type 42 destroyers HMS Edinburgh, HMS Gloucester and HMS York.
However, Swansea Drydocks Ltd (SDL) says it is facing an uphill battle on the soon to be announced contract because of cheaper labour costs abroad as the Ministry of Defence’s disposal arm looks to award contract — as well as less onerous environmental controls in some non-EU countries.
Last year the company won the contract to scrap Type 22 frigate HMS Cornwall, a deal the MoD said had to go to a UK ship-breaker to show this country had the ability to dispose of vessels. This was so the Navy’s fleet of decommissioned nuclear submarines can be recycled in Britain to safeguard the technology they contain.
But other than HMS Cornwall, few other from Royal Navy ships have been scrapped in the UK.