The Titan-Micoperi consortium named by Italian cruise line Costa Crociere to remove the wreck of the Costa Concordia has reached an agreement worth “tens of millions of euros” with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build 30 steel caissons to help refloat the ship, according to Costa. The caissons, which are massive watertight boxes, weigh a combined 11,500 tons and will be built in several Fincantieri shipyards. They will be used to right and refloat the vessel, allowing it to be removed in one piece.
After the sunken ship has been stabilized, caissons will be attached to the upper side of the hull and gradually filled with water. The ship will then be righted through the use of “strand jacks” -- a hydraulic mechanism for pulling cables - fixed to an undersea platform. When the ship is upright, water-filled caissons will be fixed to the hull’s other side. The caissons on both sides will then be emptied to refloat the wreck. Once afloat, the Costa Concordia wreck will be towed to an Italian port.
Preliminary work to prepare the wreck for salvage is proceeding on schedule on Giglio Island, according to Costa. Costa workers are also inspecting the seabed regularly, and a site clean-up operation devised to conserve the marine environment will be the company’s main focus once the wreck has been removed. The preliminary stage is expected to be complete by the end of July and will be followed by the ship-stabilization phase.