The job to remove the massive cruise liner the Costa Concordia from the rocks off the island of Giglio in the Tuscan Bay has yet to be awarded. However, an official said Thursday, April 12 that the work will begin in May.
The 290 metres long and 36 metres wide liner with a gross tonnage of 114,500 tonnes will be removed by one of two companies, either a Dutch company, Smit Salvage, and their parent company, Royal Boskalis Westminster, who will work with an Italian company, Neri, or by another combination of companies, Titan Salvage of the U.S. and Micoperi of Greece. Those two bids are the two left from six original bids.
Costa Concordia could be refloated
Fabrizio Curcio of the Italian Civil Protection agency on Thursday told reporters at a conference on Giglio that the winning bid will be selected, and the contract signed, by the end of this month. Smit Salvage and Royal Boskalis Westminster are on record as saying that should they gain the contract their intention is to refloat the ship and sail it away. Titan Salvage would break the ship up and remove it piecemeal. Whichever method is taken to remove the ship, it is expected to take 10-12 months to achieve.
Royal Boskalis has experience refloating ships, having refloated the Russian nuclear sub 'Kursk' in 2000 and the British ferry, 'Herald of Free Enterprise,' in 1988. Their company Smit Salvage is the company which safely removed the 2,300 tonnes of heavy fuel and more than 200 tonnes of diesel oil from the Costa Concordia.
Thirty-two people are believed to have died in the Jan. 13 tragedy; 30 bodies have been recovered.