France's decommissioned aircraft carrier Clemenceau may not now arrive on Teesside for recycling until early next year

France’s decommissioned aircraft carrier Clemenceau may not now arrive on Teesside for recycling until early next year. Tugs had been due to tow the 32,000-ton vessel, now known simply as Q790, this month from its long-term home in Brest to its final resting place via the English Channel.

PD Ports says that further dredging of the Tees channel is needed to allow the ship to be brought safely in, but work will be carried out “as quickly as possible”. Clemenceau will be recycled at Able UK’s purpose-built facility at Seaton Port.

The Environment Agency said it was satisfied Able UK had the infrastructure, permissions and standards in place to dismantle and recycle the vessel in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Clemenceau, which was built in 1961, is bigger than any Royal Navy aircraft carrier to enter service and sailed more than a million nautical miles before being decommissioned in 1997.