‘Exxon Valdez’ scrapped

Vessel at the centre of Prince William Sound oil spill 23-years ago is sold for demolition in India.

One of the most infamous vessels in the history of the shipping industry has finally reached the end of its life, it appears.

A trip to an Indian scrap yard will mark the final voyage of the 213,800-dwt Oriental Nicety (built 1986), cash buyer GMS says.

Exxon-Valdez-inside

While the ship’s present name will not chime with many – back in 1989, when it grounded on Bligh Reef and spilled oil into the waters of Prince William Sound, it had the words Exxon Valdez painted on the bow.

The scrapping of the vessel comes just three years after it was converted from a tanker into a bulk carrier.

The ship, which hit the headlines again after a smash off China in 2010, has fetched $460 per ldt, GMS says.

This translates to a $15.82m pay cheque for its last owner Cosco.

Built at National Steel & Shipbuilding Co in 1986, its unwanted place in the history books came three years later when on March 24 1989 it hit the reef and spilled 37,000 tonnes of oil.

The Exxon Valdez incident is estimated to have caused $15bn in damages.

It is often referred to as one of the worst environmental disasters in history. However, it is not one of the largest 30 spills on record, according to the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation.

The vessel ceased being known as the Exxon Valdez in July 1990, changing its name to the Exxon Mediterranean following repairs.

It then switched again to become the S/R Mediterranean but remained with Exxon unit SeaRiver Maritime until 1993. It was later called the Mediterranean.

It was bought by Cosco unit Hong Kong Bloom Shipping in December 2007 for around $32m, who converted it into a bulk carrier.

Its final change to the Oriental Nicety came in April last year.

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