Salvage operations on the cruise ship Costa Concordia
, which in January crashed off the Italian island of Giglio, off Tuscany, will begin soon and are expected to yield around 45,000 tonnes of scrap steel.
Owner Costa Cruises recently announced that the tender for the removal of the ship has been awarded to US firm Titan Salvage in partnership with Italy’s Micoperi.
Salvage and removal of the vessel, which weighs 54,000 tonnes, will take as long as a year and will cost an estimated €300 million ($397 million).
Operations are expected to begin in May or early June.
Titan Salvage is a marine salvage and wreck removal company, part of the Crowley Group, and is a world leader in its field.
Micoperi is a well-known Italian marine contractor with a long history as a specialist in underwater construction and engineering.
The fuel from the Costa Concordia
was successfully removed in March.
The next stage of the salvage operation will be particularly delicate as experts must first secure the 50-metre gash in the vessel’s hull that was created when it struck the rocks.
The salvage team is expected to install four underwater platforms beneath the ship to support it while it is refloated, stabilised and towed to an Italian port.