Fincantieri for Concordia refloat

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has been awarded the contract for building caissons to right and refloat the Costa Concordia wreck, firms running the operation announced on 3 July.

The Italo-American Titan-Micoperi consortium appointed by Costa Crociere, has contracted the Genova-based shipbuilder to create 30 of the watertight steel boxes, with a total weight of 11,500 tons, across a number of its shipyards.

Refloating involves fitting caissons to the upper side of the hull and gradually filling them water while a hydraulic cable-pulling mechanism (called ‘strand jacks’) fixed to an undersea platform, rights the ship. The water-filled boxes will then be attached to the other side of the hull, before all are emptied to refloat the vessel and it is towed to an Italian port.

The preliminary salvage stage is due to be completed by the end of July and will be followed by the ship stabilisation phase.

Other salvage preparation work is continuing on Giglio Island including structural steel work to remove external parts of the ship such as the satellite antenna, forward masthead light and water slide.

Regular seabed inspections are ongoing in an effort to protect the marine environment and will be the main focus once the wreck has been removed.

Rebecca Gibson
By Cherie Rowlands
06 July 2012