Costa Concordia defueling operations nearly complete

Costa Crociere, the municipality of Giglio Island and the Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner’s Office have announced that the operations to remove the fuel from Costa Concordia have successfully been completed. Defueling operations, which were carried out by experts from the Neri/Smit Salvage team hired by Costa Crociere, began Feb. 12 and continued around the clock whenever sea and weather conditions were favourable. The removal of the fuel from 17 tanks of the ship will be completed by tonight (March 23). With the fuel successfully pumped out of the tanks, and ahead of finalization of the wreck removal plan, attention is now focused on “caretaking”operations. The intention is to guarantee environmental monitoring and protection with the assistance of experts using dedicated means and resources, and to clean up the seabed and the area around the hull. Costa Crociere made a multi-million-euro investment in defueling operations, with the primary focus on removing the fuel from the ship as quickly and cleanly as possible. As previously announced, regarding removal of the ship, the six working plans submitted by the March 3 deadline are being evaluated. A short list is being developed and the best plan will be selected and announced in early to mid April. The operation to remove the wreck is expected to take from 10 to 12 months.