Final Decision on Costa Concordia Wreck Removal Delayed

A starboard-side sponson is maneuvered into place in preparation for the refloating of the Costa Concordia. File photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project
A starboard-side sponson, known as S13, is maneuvered into place in preparation for the refloating of the Costa Concordia. File photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project

The final decision that will ultimately determine the fate of the Costa Concordia hulk has been delayed as officials look to examine the refloating and removal plan in greater detail.

Officials in Italy met at the headquarters of the Department of Civil Protection in Rome this week to discuss plans laid out by the owners of the Costa Concordia, Costa Crociere, concerning the refloating of the wreck and its transfer to Genoa, where it will be demolished.

As of right now, plans call for the hulk to be refloated on July 20, at which point it will make the five-day journey to Genoa, under tow, and scrapped by a consortium led by the Italy company Saipem. The green light from the Italian government has not yet been granted.

According to the latest update from the project’s website, Commissioner for the Concordia Emergency, Franco Gabrielli, has requested an additional 10 days to allow time for a more in depth analysis of the project, especially in regards to risk assessments and proposed mitigation measures. The project will need to be approved by the Italian Council of Ministers before it can move forward.

The deadline for a final decision on the project, which was originally set for June 16, has now been pushed back to June 25.

What this means exactly for the overall timeline of the project is uncertain, but crews are continuing to work around the clock preparing the vessel for the refloating phase.

Over 360 technicians remain in Giglio and are continuing to install the remaining sponsons needed to refloat the wreck. According to the latest update, a total of 11 have been installed on the starboard side (shore side), with an addition 4 still needed on both the starboard and port side.