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Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 19:34 GMT
June scrap date for 'ghost ships'
Ghost ships
Four 'ghost ships' have been in Hartlepool since 2003
The company behind plans to scrap former US warships on Teesside has given a date for work to start after years of wrangling.

Able UK hopes to have all the required licences in place over the next few weeks allowing work to start in June.

The Hartlepool-based company won a contract with the US Government in 2003 to dismantle up to 13 vessels.

Environmental concerns prevented work taking place, despite conditional approval from the council last October.

Four of the US ships initially arrived in the town, but the setbacks caused the firm to lose the order for the other nine vessels.

Able UK is now seeking to recoup legal costs from Hartlepool Borough Council, which could be as high as 1m.

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The 'ghost ships' moored on Teesside



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