April 25 - Dutch shipowner Flinter has signed a contract with a consortium, headed by Scaldis and including DEME, Jan de Nul and Herbosch-Kiere, to remove the wreck of its vessel Flinterstar, which sank in the North Sea following a collision last October.

Flinter ceo Bart Otto said: "Our primary concern has been that the wreck removal operation should be undertaken in the safest and most environmentally sensitive manner possible."

The wreck removal is scheduled to take place this summer, with Scaldis beginning the preparation and mobilisation phases soon, in order to commence onsite operations as quickly as possible.

Although the wreck is presently upright on the seabed, it is separated into two sections. Scaldis will first remove the cargo from Flinterstar, before installing lifting points, lifting chains and slings underneath the shipwreck.

The company's 3,300-tonne capacity heavy lifting vessel Rambiz will then be used to remove each wreck section and position the units on barges for onward transport.

Loaded with construction steel and crane parts, Flinterstar collided with the LNG tanker Al Oraiq in October 2015 offshore Zeebrugge and grounded outside the Scheur channel. Authorities issued a wreck removal order in January as the vessel was perceived to present a potential danger to shipping and the environment.