Costa plans Concordia removal

Costa Cruises has outlined its plans for the removal of the Costa Concordia. In a prepared statement, the cruise company said that “immediately following the Costa Concordia accident” it began working “to ensure the least possible environmental impact to the waters surrounding Isola del Giglio and to safeguard the island’s business activities and tourism.” Costa said that “from the outset the measures drawn up by the company have been shared with and approved by the relevant Italian authorities in the spirit of full, transparent and total cooperation.” It has already engaged international salvage experts, Smit Salvage BV, to remove the fuel contained in Costa Concordia’s tanks and it has presented a plan to remove other materials and potential pollutants to begin as soon as weather conditions permit.” The statement said: “Costa Cruises also is working with the utmost speed on a plan to remove the ship itself — a top priority to protect the environment of Giglio and the island’s tourism industry.” It has also formed a technical committee with representatives from Costa Cruises, Carnival Corporation & plc, Fincantieri shipyard, Italian registry RINA and sector experts, including academics, who will collaborate with the relevant authorities to create a plan. Costa has also advised Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner, Franco Gabrielli that it has invited 10 companies to present proposals for the removal of Costa Concordia’s hull. These companies include: Donjon Marine Inc.; Fukada Salvage & Marine Works Co. Ltd.; Mammoet Salvage BV; Nippon Salvage Co Ltd.; Resolve Marine Group Inc.; Smit Salvage BV; Svitzer Salvage BV; T&T Marine Salvage Inc.; Titan Salvage; and Tito Neri S.r.l. Those proposals must be presented to Costa Cruises by the beginning of March 2012. The plans will be assessed jointly with the Civil Protection Scientific Committee and a selection is expected to be made by the end of March. That time-line represents the best possible outcome, although given the complexity of the operation, there could be delays.