Work is starting on cutting up the Costa Concordia piece by piece. Its future is now as scrap metal for cars, refrigerators and washing machines.
The wrecked liner dominated the port of Genoa where ironically it was built nine years ago. It had taken four days to tow the ship from the island of Giglio after a two-year salvage operation. Another mammoth task lies ahead.
Huge amounts of steel from the 115,000 tonne vessel will be transformed into girders for the construction industry. It’s expected the scrap metal from its 14 decks will fetch around 270 euros a tonne in an operation costing an estimated 100 million euros and led by a consortium of two Italian firms.
Around 80 percent of the liner will be recycled and reused. Copper from the ships hundreds of kilometres of electrical wiring will be salvaged. Machinery from its elevators and equipment from its kitchens will also be cannibalised and reused.
Before that happens all the fittings, furnishings and non-metal items have to be stripped from the ship.
Work will start on the highest of the 14 decks under what the Italians said were more stringent environmental standards than if the contract had gone to Bangladesh, India, Turkey or China.
The final voyage of the once luxury liner has cost its owners over 1.5 billion euros.