Boskalis jaarverslagen 2011

SMIT Salvage quickly present at the scene after Costa Concordia shipwreck

On 13 January 2012, the 290 meter long and 35 meter wide cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio. SMIT Salvage arrived at the scene the next day and immediately offered its services to aid an efficient emergency response operation. In the days following the disaster the owners and underwriters of the ship awarded SMIT and its Italian partner Tito Neri the contract to remove the oil from the stricken ship and to take measures to prevent environmental damage. Not an easy task, given the size and position of the ship.

Before the work could begin, Boskalis conducted a subsea inspection of the conditions of the seabed under the ship as well as the rock formations it was listing against. This was necessary since SMIT needed to determine how stable the ship was before it could start work on pumping off over 2,000 tonnes of fuel divided over 17 bunker tanks.

At the request of the Italian authorities SMIT took a number of extra precautions. A double inflatable oil boom was positioned around the ship as a floating barrier to prevent oil from spreading in the seawater in the unlikely event of a spill.

SMIT used special Hot-Tap technology to remove the oil. The oil was pumped from the ship through a valve placed in the tops of the fuel tanks; at the same time water was let into the bottom of the tanks through another valve. The purpose of this was to replace the oil with water in order to maintain the ship’s stability. A crane barge was moored alongside the cruise liner, supporting the pumping equipment, a steam heating plant and diving equipment. On the other side of the crane barge an oil tanker was positioned with all the equipment needed for the immediate disposal of the oil from the Costa Concordia.

On 28 January everything was in place for the pumping operation to begin. SMIT was ready for the job but adverse weather conditions prevented a swift start. It was not until 13 February that the first oil could be removed in a safe and controlled manner. As this annual report went to press the work had reached a concluding stage.

Added to My report add to My report Source: Annual review 2011, Report of the Board of Management, page 58