American specialists Titan Salvage have been awarded the contract to refloat the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia in partnership with Italian firm Micoperi.
The ship is presently half submerged in waters off the Italian island of Giglio following its sinking earlier this year with the loss of 32 lives.
Costa-owner Carnival Corporation earlier confirmed Pier Luigi Foschi would step down from his role and chief executive of the cruise line following the disaster.
Work on salvaging the vessel is expected to begin next month, with the operation completed in 12 months.
Wreck-removal company Titan Salvage is based in the United States, with offices around the world.
Micoperi is a marine contractor and specialist in underwater construction and engineering headquartered in Ravenna, Italy.
“Salvage workers’ presence will not have any significant impact on the availability of hotel accommodation on the island during the summer season,” Costa said in a statement.
“The main operating base will be located on the mainland at nearby Civitavecchia, where equipment and materials will be stored, thereby avoiding any impact on Giglio’s port activities.”
Once floated, the wreck of Costa Concordia will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Italian authorities.