Former Exxon Valdez Being Scrapped

GMS, the world's largest cash buyer of ships for recycling, reportedly will scrap the ship now named the Oriental Nicety in India.

Numerous news agencies and websites have followed a March 20 report by TradeWinds, a well-known shipping industry media company, that the ship formerly named the Exxon Valdez has been sold to GMS and will be scrapped, apparently in India. GMS, with offices in Cumberland, Md., Dubai, and Shanghai, is the world's largest cash buyer of ships for recycling. It sends them to yards in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, and Turkey.

The ship is currently named the Oriental Nicety and was converted into a bulk carrier by Hong Kong Bloom Shipping, a Cosco unit, which bought the ship in 2007 for about $32 million, Andy Pierce of TradeWinds reported. Bloomberg and UPI reported CMS bought it for around $16 million.

The ship was built in 1986. It struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in March 1989, spilling more than 11 million gallons of oil -– the biggest spill ever in U.S. waters.

Congress subsequently passed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which required the Coast Guard to strengthen its regulations on oil tankers and their owners and operators. Today, tank hulls provide better protection against spills resulting from a similar accident, and communications between vessel captains and vessel traffic centers have improved to make for safer sailing, according to EPA.

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