Costa Crociere responded immediately to the Costa Concordia incident to
minimize the environmental impact and protect Giglio Island’s economy and
tourism industry. The subsequent intervention planned by the company was
decided with the joint approval of Italian authorities and the municipality of
Giglio Island in a spirit of full, transparent and total cooperation.
With regard to today’s news release announcing the completion of defueling
operations, here are more details regarding Costa Crociere’s activities:
1) DEFUELING: To remove the fuel from the ship, Costa Crociere hired the
world’s leading salvage company, Smit Salvage BV, which worked in
collaboration with the Italian firm Tito Neri srl. The operations began Feb. 12,
2012, and were completed successfully. Costa Crociere made a multimillioneuro
investment to extract all of the oil from the ship, with the primary focus
on removing the fuel from the ship as quickly and cleanly as possible. Fuel
removal was carried out by 20 marine vessels (platforms, tugs, transport
ships, crane barges, tankers, oil-spill response vessels, etc.) and a team of 100
experts from several countries. Defueling operations were completed in 31
days, within the five weeks that were originally scheduled.
2) “CARETAKING”: Costa Crociere has contracted Smit Salvage BV,
inpartnership with Tito Neri srl for “caretaking” operations. Eight marine vessels
(oil-spill response vessels, crane barges and transport ships) will be deployed
as well as containers, cranes and rubber dinghies and a team of 42 experts.
Caretaking will be carried out after defueling and before commencement of the
wreck-removal operation. The relevant activities are due to start in the next
few days, the intention being to guarantee environmental monitoring and
protection in the area around the ship. This also will include cleaning up the
seabed and removing objects and material that have emerged from the hull.
Caretaking operations are expected to last between one and two months.
3) REMOVAL OF THE SHIP: The Company set up a technical committee with
representatives from Costa Crociere, Carnival Corporation & plc, Fincantieri
shipyard, RINA (the Italian shipping register) and experts from industry and
academia to determine the best plan for removal of the ship, in coordination
with the relevant authorities.
Costa Crociere invited the world’s 10 leading salvage companies to tender for
the contract to remove the ship in one piece.
Six working plans were submitted by the March 3 deadline, all of a very high
standard. While each project proposes its own specific salvage methods and
techniques, they all prioritize the need to minimize the environmental impact,
protect Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and guarantee safety. The
operation to remove the wreck will be complex and is expected to take from 10
to 12 months, depending on which plan is chosen.
The projects are currently being evaluated and a short list is expected to be
chosen soon; the best plan will be selected and announced in early to mid
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