AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch marine salvage company Royal Boskalis Westminster won a 30 million dollar contract to remove the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia from the waters around the Italian island of Giglio, the company said on Thursday.
Following the successful righting of the gigantic floating hotel last month, Boskalis will load the 114,500-tonne liner onto its vessel, the Dockwise Vanguard, the world's largest lift ship, which will then take the liner away to be scrapped.
The Vanguard will take on water into its ballast tanks, allowing it to sink beneath the water line. Then, the Concordia will be maneuvered to float above the lift ship, which will be refloated, now with the Concordia aboard.
"The Concordia can be loaded as a whole onto the Dockwise Vanguard and safely transported to a location where she can be scrapped," the company said in a statement.
The company said its client, cruise ship operator Costa Cruises, had not yet decided on where the scrapping would take place, but said the removal operation would take place around mid-2014.
"Alternatives under review include scrapping the vessel in Italy," the company said.
Another Boskalis subsidiary, SMIT Salvage, provided emergency response services immediately after the accident in January 2012, which killed 32 of the 4,000 aboard. But Boskalis lost the main salvage contract to a rival U.S.-Italian consortium.
(Reporting By Thomas Escritt; editing by Stephen Nisbet)