A contract to salvage the crippled Costa Concordia, which hit rocks off the coast of Italy in January, is expected to be awarded this weekend.
A US-Italian joint venture is being reported as the likely winner of the tender process to recover the ship, which has already been written off by the Italian line’s parent company Carnival Corporation.
Italian admirals and government officials met in London yesterday with London Offshore Consultants to consider a bid by Florida-based Titan Salvage together with Italy’s Micoperi, the Financial Times reported, quoting industry sources.
The operation could cost between €250 million-€280 million and it could take a year, according to the FT.
Costa had previously said it expected to make a decision in late March. The winner of the salvage contract would be announced “shortly”, but it had not fixed a date.
Rival proposals involve floating the wreck and towing it away, rather than cutting it up where it rests, half-submerged off the island of Giglio.
The Titan Salvage-Micoperi proposal involves building an underwater platform which would support the wreck after it is rotated and partially raised from the seabed using tanks. Once the hull is repaired it would be floated.
The ship, with 4,200 passengers and crew, went down on January 13 with the loss of 32 lives after it hit rocks close to the island. Its captain is under arrest.
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