Dockwise, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has been awarded the contract to load and transport the Concordia wreck from Isola del Giglio onboard the Dockwise Vanguard. The contract was awarded by Costa Crociere S.p.A. (the client).
Following the successful parbuckling of the Concordia, and in anticipation of the pending refloat, Dockwise and the client have been in discussion to seek a safe solution to remove the Concordia wreck from Isola del Giglio in Italy. In a unique operation the Concordia can be loaded as a whole onto the Dockwise Vanguard and safely transported to a location where she can be scrapped. The client has yet to make a decision in agreement with the local authorities on the final destination. Alternatives under review include scrapping the vessel in Italy. As part of the contract, certain modifications will be made to the Dockwise Vanguard to accommodate the loading of the Concordia in her current state. The operation is planned to take place around mid-2014 and contract value of the work scope as described amounts to approximately USD 30 million.
The Dockwise Vanguard is the world’s largest semi-submersible ship uniquely positioned to lift and transport extremely heavy cargoes in a dry and safe manner. The ship was initially designed to transport offshore oil and gas structures, but can also carry other vessels and act as an offshore dry dock facility. The Dockwise Vanguard has an open and flat stern and bow-less deck measuring 275 meters by 70 meters allowing the vessel to transport cargo longer and wider than the deck dimensions. When the ballast tanks are flooded, the ship deck submerges below the surface, allowing her to handle deep draught cargoes. Once the Dockwise Vanguard is semi-submersed, the floating Concordia will be brought in position above the deck and as the ballast tanks are emptied, the entire ship including the Concordia is brought above the water line allowing her to transport the cargo in a safe and swift manner.
Boskalis, through its wholly-owned subsidiary SMIT Salvage, also provided emergency response services in the first months following the Concordia accident. SMIT Salvage, together with its local partner Tito Neri, successfully removed the bunker fuel from the ship and acted as caretaker from mid-January through to mid-March in 2012.
Boskalis views this project as strategically important demonstrating the opportunities for combining maritime services and assets across the breadth of the company. Furthermore, the use of the Dockwise Vanguard for this extreme salvage operation shows the versatility of the vessel. The recently announced transportation of a FPSO, a recent successful dry docking operation and this salvage transport contract award demonstrate the potential of the vessel.