The Complex Project To Salvage The Costa Concordia Starts On Monday

The Crazy Complex Project to Salvage the Costa Concordia Starts Monday

Removing the shipwrecked Costa Concordia has been a slow project. Crews finally flipped it upright last year, and now the real challenge begins: taking it off the coast of Giglio Island to a port in Genoa for dismantling. Work starts Monday, and it's gonna be a doozy.

As of today, the ship rests upright on an underwater platform, wearing 30 water-filled metal tanks arranged along its flanks. Starting Monday, engineers will pump those tanks full compressed air, lifting the 104 million kilogram ship up off the platform.

At first, the team will only lift the Concordia a metre or so, to inspect its structure and see if it's solid enough to survive transport 240km to Genoa. But that voyage won't happen right away — first, the crews will have to move the giant boat about 30m further offshore for cleaning. After two and a half years spent semi-submerged, the food, fuel and luxury accouterment left behind when the ship was evacuated has likely turned into a toxic mess of environmental hazards. And right now, the ship is loafing in a marine sanctuary.

Assuming the ship is solid enough for travel, and the engineers don't find any bizarre surprises when they lift it, the Costa Concordia will then take a leisurely two-knot jaunt to the port at Genoa, 240km away. At the end of the five-day voyage, the doomed juggernaut will undergo dismantling that will take several years.

The contract to demolish the doomed vessel came in at $US275 million; that's on top of the hundreds of millions spent just to stabilise the boat. [The Parbuckling Project via Wired]

Picture: The Parbuckling Project

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