The builder of the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia, Italy’s Fincantieri, has been awarded a contract to construct a series of 30 caissons with a combined weight of 11,500 tonnes for use in refloating the massive vessel. US salvor Titan, working with Italy’s Micoperi, has been preparing the wreck for salvage during the past few months by removing a number of external parts and stabilising the hull.
When the caissons are completed, half will be fixed to the upper side of the hull and gradually filled with water to help right the ship, in conjunction with a system of strand jacks fixed to an undersea platform and cranes. When the ship is nearly upright, the remaining caissons will be fixed to the other side and filled with water.
The caissons on both sides will then be emptied to fully refloat the hull, which will be towed to an Italian port for salvage. At a meeting with Italy’s Department of Civil Protection, the salvage companies estimated this work will be completed by spring 2013.