Costa Concordia reaches Genoa's main port for scrapping after 200-mile journey from wreckage site

Its arrival in Genoa will mark the end of a two year salvage operation that is said to have cost over £1 bn

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The Independent Online

The Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise ship that sunk and killed 32 people in 2012, has entered the port of Genoa for scrapping after one of the biggest salvage operations in maritime history.

Two and a half years since the tragic sinking of the ship, the Costa Concordia has finally ended its four-day and 200 mile voyage to Genoa’s Voltri industrial port to mark the end of a two year salvage operation that has reportedly cost the Costa Concordia's owners, Costa Crociere, an estimated £1.2 billion.

After reaching Genoa, the ship will then be broken down by a consortium led by Italian engineering group Saipem and Genoa-based San Giorgio del Porto, which sources say could take a further two years and cost upwards of £79 million.

The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is expected to arrive in Genoa later on Sunday to mark the success of the operation.

Speaking on behalf of the government ahead of the Costa Concordia’s arrival in Genoa, environment minister Gian Luca Galletti told reporters: “This is not a celebration. We have to think of the victims, but it has to be said that keeping the Concordia in Italy is a great occasion for our country."

Adding: "We have excellent technology and we are capable of undertaking great things."

The scrapping of the Costa Concordia sees the final stage of a complex project that began just months after the boat was wrecked in January 2012.

Since April last year, these efforts have intensified, with cables being put underneath the submerged ship to pull it upright.

According to reports, there were up to 200 people working on the ship daily and the Italian authorities have received praise for carrying out the work with very few glitches and minimal damage to the environment.

Galletti said: "There hasn't been any problem at all. They should have a bit more confidence in Italians."

A massive operation nine days ago saw the ship re-floated nine days ago, which made it possible for the ship to be towed back to Genoa.

The return of the ship to the port in marks a bleak comparison to nine years ago when the ship embarked on its maiden voyage.

In September 2005 the ship, which was built in Genoa’s Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard, was launched to great fanfare and celebration in the city.

After being in operation for seven years, in 2012 the ship which had a capacity of 4,000 passengers came into trouble off the island of Giglio on the Tuscan coast.

The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is currently on trial for causing the ship wreck and , according to reports, if found guilty could face up to 20 years in jail.

Costa Concordia Salvage Operation in Numbers

Length: 290.20 m
Weight: 114,147 tonnes
Cost of ship: €450 million
Total cost of salvage operation:  €1.5 billion
Estimated cost of scrapping of ship:  €100 million
Amount of fuel removed from wreck: 2,380 tonnes
Number of salvage workers involved: 500