Salvors recovering the wreckage of the cruise ship Costa Concordia have announced a new plan – rather than re-float and then tow the 952-foot long ship to a scrap yard, they’ll put the entire vessel on the Dockwise Vanguard, the world’s largest semi-submersible ship, and sail it to its final destination.
Apparently the Costa Concordia is too damaged to make the trip on its own – even with the extra floatation tanks.
The Costa Concordia will still have to raise itself above the bottom – but just enough for the Dockwise Vanguard to get underneath it. That will be something to see.
Cost? $30 million to “secure the availability” of the Dockwise Vanguard, which leaves the door open to other charges.
No word where they may take the Costa Concordia for breaking, or when the Dockwise Vanguard will be called to pick up the wreck.
Here’s the release from TheParbucklingProject.
Costa Crociere and Dockwise, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) have signed the contract that secures the availability of the Dockwise Vanguard – the world’s largest semi-submersible ship – as part of the options considered for the removal of the Concordia wreck from Isola del Giglio.
Costa Crociere announces that it has reached an agreement with Dutch company Dockwise, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., to secure the availability of the Dockwise Vanguard as one of the possible options for the removal of the Concordia from Giglio island, once the wreck will be refloated in 2014.
The Dockwise Vanguard is the world’s largest semi-submersible ship uniquely positioned to lift and transport extremely heavy cargoes in a dry and safe manner. The ship was initially designed to transport offshore oil and gas structures, but can also carry other vessels and act as an offshore dry dock facility. It has an open and flat stern and bow-less deck measuring 275 meters by 70 meters allowing the vessel to transport cargo longer and wider than the deck dimensions. When the ballast tanks are flooded, the Dockwise Vanguard’s deck submerges below the surface, allowing her to handle deep draught cargoes. Once the Dockwise Vanguard is semi-submersed, the floating Concordia could therefore be brought in position above the deck and as the ballast tanks are emptied, the entire ship – including the Concordia – is brought above the water line allowing her to transport the cargo in a safe and swift manner.
The port of destination of the Concordia wreck has not been decided yet, but the Dockwise Vanguard can represent an alternative to traditional towing. It can also offer advantages in terms of discharge methods. As a matter of fact, once the final port of destination is reached, the Dockwise Vanguard offers two possible discharge methods for the Concordia: float off, which means that the wreck would be put back into the sea water in floating conditions, or skid off, that is transferring the Concordia from the Vanguard directly onto the pier or an adjacent quayside.
“As we’ve always stated since the beginning of project, Costa’s goal is to remove the Concordia wreck from Giglio in a safe and swift way and to do this we have always taken into consideration all the possible alternatives and state of the art technologies”, states Franco Porcellacchia, Concordia Wreck Removal Project coordinator for Costa/Carnival.
The value of the agreement reached between Costa and Dockwise amounts to approximately USD 30 million.
The Concordia wreck removal project
On April 21, 2012 Costa Crociere and Commissioner delegated from the Italian Government for the Concordia Emergency announced that the bids o for the contract to remove the ship in one piece has been awarded to the international marine salvage consortium Titan-Micoperi Srl, a joint venture between Titan Salvage, a U.S. company owned by Crowley Maritime Group and a world leader in the recovery of wrecks, and Micoperi, an Italian company specializing in engineering and installation of offshore structures and undersea pipelines. Works have begun in May 2012.
The Concordia wreck removal is a unique and extremely complex technical-engineering operation, considered the biggest salvage ever attempted on a ship of its size – with the deployment of the finest international expertise, state-of-the-art technology and unprecedented financial resources.
The priorities of the project are respect for the environment, workplace safety and protection of the Giglio island socio-economic life.
Activity at the site continues nonstop: about 500 salvage operators are working round the clock in shifts, 24/7.
The Concordia was successfully rotated in vertical position on Sept 17th with the completion of the parbuckling operations. Currently technicians are carrying out surveys on the recently emerged starboard side of the wreck to assess damage before eventually proceeding with the needed structural repairs. It will be then possible to position the last 4 sponsons on the left side and the additional 15 on the starboard side to reach the total of 30 that will be needed for the refloating phase.