The Margaret Hill was blocked from leaving Southampton docks in August after the Environment Agency was alerted to plans to dismantle the ship in India.

International agreements mean that ships containing hazardous materials can only be dismantled at authorised facilities in either the EU or an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country.

Since August the EA has worked with Fortress Credit Co LLC – which became the mortgagee in possession of the Margaret Hill – to find a suitable legal alternative.

The 50,000 tonne tanker will now sail to Dubai, where it will be used as a floating treatment plant for liquid natural gas.

Liz Parkes, head of waste and resource management at the Environment Agency said: “There are laws in place to ensure that waste ships are dismantled in proper facilities where they will not harm people or the environment. We are pleased that the owners now intend to refurbish the ship rather than scrap it.”

Sam Bond

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