AMSTERDAM (AP) — The huge wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship will be lifted onto a specialized transport ship next summer, taken away and dismantled, the Dutch company doing the job said Thursday.
Salvaging firm Royal Boskalis NV said it has been awarded a $30 million (22 million euro) contract by Costa owner Carnival Corporation. Boskalis will use the "Dockwise Vanguard" — a ship developed for moving oil platforms — to carry out the operation.
Thirty-two people died when the Concordia slammed into a reef off the Tuscan island of Giglio and capsized on Jan. 13, 2012. It was righted in a major operation last month and is now sitting on a platform on the seabed.
Boskalis says the Vanguard is the world's largest semi-submersible ship. It is designed with a flat front and back and a deck of 275 meters by 70 meters (900 feet by 230 feet) that can carry "extremely heavy" loads. It operates by filling ballast tanks with water so it sinks below water level.
Once the transport ship is "is semi-submersed, the floating Concordia will be brought in position above the deck," Boskalis said. "As the ballast tanks are emptied, the entire ship including the Concordia is brought above the water line and it can then be transported quickly."
The company is still talking with Carnival and Italian authorities about whether the Concordia will be brought to a location inside or outside Italy to be broken up for scrap.