Italian navy vessels arrive for dismantling in Turkey amid toxicity concerns

Seven Italian Navy vessels suspected to contain toxic chemicals have been docked in İzmir’s Aliağa district for disassembling while lacking hazardous material inventory reports or environmental impact assessments.

Duvar English

Two patrol ships, two frigates, and three submarines belonging to the Italian Navy have been anchored in İzmir’s Aliağa district for disassembly amidst suspicions of the vessels carrying high amounts of toxic chemicals like asbestos, according to reporting by the daily Cumhuriyet on April 14.

The Italian Defense Industry Agency awarded the Ege Çelik company a tender of 1.7 million euros to oversee the dismantling. However, the hazardous material inventory reports (IHM) regarding the boats have not been disclosed.

Moreover, the disassembly will occur without an environmental impact assessment, according to Greenpeace Italy.

While Ege Çelik’s shipyard is EU-approved, a 2023 European Commission report revealed inadequate leak controls during oil platform dismantling.

Additionally, concerns emerged regarding the asbestos removal process at the dock due to low invoices for these services.

Furthermore, a vessel rejected by EU shipyards due to its toxic waste content was stripped down at Ege Çelik’s facility following a name change.

Aliağa, situated along the Aegean, hosts approximately 22 ship dismantling facilities. Over the past five years, these sites have dismantled 714 ships, disposing of 241 tons of asbestos in the surrounding areas. Meanwhile, the region has seen an alarming increase in cancer cases.

(English version by Wouter Massink)