January 17 - SAL Offshore - the offshore installation arm of SAL Heavy Lift - has completed initial installation works in support of the Costa Concordia wreck removal operation at Giglio Island, Italy.

SAL Offshore mobilised vessels Svenja and Lone to install subsea platforms, floatation sponsons and a blister tank, all of which played important roles in the parbuckling operation. The platforms were installed at a water depth of 45 m to provide a safe supporting structure for the wreck.

Platform no.1 measured 40 m x 33 m x 22 m and weighed 1,000 tonnes; it is the heaviest subsea installation executed by a heavy lift transportation vessel, says SAL Heavy Lift.

A total of 11 sponsons were positioned and installed on the portside of the stricken Costa Concordia, which were used to help rotate the vessel to an upright position. A further 13 starboard sponsons will also be installed that will help keep the Costa Concordia stable during its final refloating operation.

Meanwhile, one of the heavy lift vessels lifted the 1,500-tonne blister tank from a waiting barge, before handing it over to an installation crane. The blister tank supported the bow of Costa Concordia during the parbuckling procedure.

HLPFI reported in October 2013 that the Dockwise semi-submersible heavy lift vessel, Dockwise Vanguard, has been contracted to lift Costa Concordia in one piece and safely transport her to a recycling yard. The operation is planned for mid-2014 and is valued at USD30 million.