As part of the salvage plan to remove the wreck of the Costa Concordia, to be carried out by the Italo-American Titan-Micoperi consortium appointed by Costa Crociere, Fincantieri has been awarded a contract worth tens of millions of euros for the building of the watertight boxes, known as caissons, to be used in the operation to refloat the ship.
A total of 30 steel caissons, with combined weight of approximately 11,500 tons, will be built in different Fincantieri shipyards.
The Costa Concordia salvage plan entails the use of these caissons in order to right and refloat the wreck so that it can be removed in one piece.
Once the ship has been stabilized, caissons will be fixed to the upper side of the hull and gradually filled with water as part of the operation to right the ship; righting will be performed using a system of “strand jacks” – a hydraulic mechanism for pulling cables – fixed to an undersea platform. When the ship is upright, caissons full of water will also be fixed to the other side of the hull. Then the caissons on both sides will be emptied to refloat the wreck; once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port.
Meanwhile, on Giglio Island preliminary work to prepare the wreck for salvage is proceeding on schedule; this includes steel structural jobs needed to cut and remove some external parts of the ship (OVI SAT antenna, forward masthead light, water slide) and facilitate the next stage of the plan. The seabed is also being inspected regularly ahead of the site clean-up operation devised to conserve the marine environment, which will be the main focus once the wreck has been removed. The preliminary stage is expected to finish by the end of July; it will be followed by the ship stabilization phase.