January 2012 - April 2012
Upon becoming aware of the evacuation of the stranded cruise vessel at the island of Giglio, Italy, SMIT approached the owners and underwriters of the Costa Concordia. SMIT has an extensive track record relating to marine emergency response, refloating stranded vessels and wreck removals. In the days following the accident, a contract was awarded by the Owners to SMIT and local partners Tito Neri for the removal of the bunker oil and pollution control.
The amount of bunkers in the vessel was 2200 MT of IFO (intermediate fuel oil), 185 MT of MGO (marine gas oil/diesel) and lubricants, distributed over 17 tanks.
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Saturday 24 March, 2012This morning at 07.30 CET SMIT Salvage successfully completed its assignment on the removal of fuel from the Costa Concordia. Over the last couple of days, the SMIT Salvage diving team was transferring HFO from the last settling tank in the engine room. Early this morning, the last tanks were completed, closed and sealed off.
The entire oil removal process which lasted just over one month went smoothly and was executed in line with expectations. Most of the diving and pumping equipment will be demobilized and brought back to Livorno onboard of the crane/work barge Meloria.
Friday 2 March, 2012This afternoon the salvage team completed the discharge of Heavy Fuel Oil, Diesel Oil and Sludge from the Double Bottom Tanks. Weather permitting the crane barge 'Meloria' will now be moved forward in her moorings in between the stabilizer and the large damaged area.
An access hole will be created in the hull to allow the divers to enter the engine room spaces where the settling and service tanks are located. Once the connections have been installed, the contents will be transferred to the offloading tanker. Thereafter the contents of the sewage tanks will also be pumped out of the ship.
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
The oil removal activities recommenced on 24 February with the crane barge 'Meloria' and bunker barge 'Magic Duba' repositioned alongside the Costa Concordia just behind the stabilizer (large fin which is sticking out from the ship). Oil has been removed from three different double bottom tanks and from the double bottom sludge tank. Currently, using the hot tap method, two fuel tanks in the aft part of the vessel are in progress of being pumped.
Outstanding work includes the removal of HFO from four double bottom tanks, the fuel storage tanks located in the engine room and the removal of sanitary residues.
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Since the pumping commenced, the oil removal process has progressed well and at a steady rate. Oil has been removed from all six forward tanks and the hoses, pumps and valves have been disconnected with the flanges sealed off. Following the successful oil removal from the forward ship, the crane barge was disconnected and brought back into the sheltered port on Monday morning. The fuel tanker 'Elba' into which the fuel was pumped has moved away from the Costa Concordia and a second fuel barge 'Magic Duba' is standby to replace the 'Elba'.
Since Monday, the wind and wave conditions have hampered the continuation of the oil removal process. As soon as the weather permits, the crane barge will be repositioned alongside the Costa Concordia. Based on the current planning, the mid-ship tanks containing MGO and two double bottom sludge tanks will have the next priority. These tanks will also be emptied using the hot tap method. Due to the unpredictable weather conditions, we cannot provide an estimated date of completion.
Monday, 13 February 2012Yesterday afternoon, at 16.55, the first oil was removed from the Costa Concordia. In line with the presentation made on the January 28, the initial operation is focused on the forward fuel tanks.
Currently four of the six forward fuel tanks have now been installed with a sealable flange. As operations continue, the remaining tanks will also be prepared.
The first tank which was connected to the pumps is relatively small and located on the port side of the Costa Concordia. The weather forecast for the coming days looks good and pumping will continue around the clock as long as the favorable conditions continue.
Tuesday, 31 January 2012We are continually monitoring the weather forecast however adverse weather conditions continue to impact our oil removal operations. We will remobilize our equipment alongside the Costa Concordia, complete the preparations on the forward fuel tanks and commence with the oil removal operation when conditions become favourable. We will keep you informed on developments through the website.
Saturday, 28 January 2012At a press conference held today on the island of Giglio, SMIT Salvage and its partner Fratelli Neri provided a technical briefing on the oil removal operation. A presentation and animation of the oil removal operation was provided to the press. A compilation of underwater video (HR version available on demand) footage filmed by divers was also provided.
Two of the six forward fuel tanks have now been installed with a sealed flange and the remaining tanks were due to be prepared today. The six forward tanks are estimated to hold approximately two thirds of the (intermediate) fuel oil in the casualty.
Whilst the expectation was that the oil removal process would commence shortly after the press conference, operations were suspended on Saturday morning due to unfavourable weather conditions. The crane barge was disconnected from the casualty and brought into the protective port of the island Giglio. Weather permitting, we look forward to completing the preparations on the forward fuel tanks and commencing with the oil removal as soon as possible.
Friday, 27 January 2012Following extensive preparations over the last week by SMIT Salvage together with our partner Fratelli Neri, we expect to be ready to start pumping tomorrow, Saturday 28 January. We would therefore like to invite you to attend a technical press briefing on the island of Giglio where we will provide details on the pumping process. During this session we will also provide an animation and underwater video footage of the drilling process and pipeline installation. This print and video material will be provided on a USB stick for all interested parties and may be used freely. Following the technical briefing, there will be the opportunity for 1:1 interviews in English, Italian and Dutch.
The press briefing will take place at 13.00 hrs CET on Giglio Island, at Hotel Bahamas (firstname.lastname@example.org; tel +390564 809254, Via Cardinale Oreglia nr 22, Giglio Island).
- Wednesday, 25 January 2012
SMIT Salvage together with its partner Fratelli Neri have made good progress in the further preparations for the oil removal from the Costa Concordia. Our divers have inspected the forward section of the submerged underwater part of the ship and have marked the drilling locations of the heavy fuel oil tanks.
This morning, the inflating of the oil barrier boom was initiated and in the course of this afternoon, the first booms were being installed. These oil booms will serve as a second inner protection barrier around the ship. An outer boom and a boom along the shoreline were previously already installed.
Before the pumping of oil can commence, SMIT Salvage divers will need to place hot tap valves on the outer hull of the vessel and drill holes through the hull into the oil tanks. As soon as pumping commences, we will provide details on this website accompanied with an animation of the hot tap process.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012Following a press conference held by the authorities yesterday on the island of Giglio, which was also attended by representatives of Costa Cruises and SMIT Salvage, it was stated that SMIT Salvage would be allowed to commence with the preparations for the oil removal today. SMIT Salvage will first place its work/crane barge Meloria alongside the Costa Concordia. Divers from SMIT Salvage will then inspect parts of the underwater ship and make the necessary preparations to remove the fuel from the ship. Next stage will be the drilling of holes in the fuel tanks and the installation of valves by means of a hot tap.
Monday, 23 January 2012Over the weekend, a full bathymetry survey was initiated. The outcome of the survey will provide further insight into seabed below the ship and the rock formations against which the ship is resting.
Following further discussions over the weekend with the Italian authorities, SMIT has been requested to take a number of additional precautions. These precautions must be in place before SMIT may proceed with the removal of oil from the ship:
- the planned single oil containment boom around the ship must be a double boom. In the event of an oil spill emerging from the ship, a containment boom is a temporary floating barrier used to contain the spill. Booms are commonly used to reduce the possibility of polluting shorelines and to help make oil recovery easier. Booms help to concentrate oil in thicker surface layers so that skimmers, vacuums, or other collection methods can be used more effectively. The additional oil booms have been mobilised and upon arrival will need to be positioned and fixed down.
- to position an emergency response oil removal vessel on site. For this purpose, SMIT has mobilized an oil tanker with emergency response equipment including sweeping arms, booms and a skimmer. This vessel arrived today.
Based on the current insights, it is understood that the Italian marine authorities will permit oil removal activities to commence once these precautionary measures have been put in place.
Saturday, 21 January 2012There are currently no significant new developments regarding the removal of the oil from the ship. The Italian marine authorities have yet to grant SMIT a
go-ahead for the fuel removal.
Friday, 20 January 2012Currently there is a team of approximately 35 employees of SMIT and Neri on the Island of Giglio, preparing to remove the oils. Equipment to remove the fuel include a crane-/work barge with pumps, hoses, air diving equipment and steam/heating plant onboard have been mobilised to the island and are ready to start the work.
The team is on standby to start with the vessel survey, ahead of the removal of fuel. Due to the potential instability of the vessel, our operations have not commenced yet. We are awaiting the go-ahead from the Italian marine authorities, to start the preparatory works for pumping out the fuel. We expect this to start once the vessels has been declared stable by the authorities.
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