The owners and insurers of the sunken container ship Rena plan to remove the submerged four-storey accommodation block from the wreck.
No cost estimates revealed yet, but the bill keeps climbing. A new Lloyd's of London report says the world's two most expensive salvages to date are the Costa Concordia (which has not yet been moved), and the Rena - currently standing at $300million.
This latest project begins in October, two years after the ship struck the Astrolabe Reef and spilled 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the Bay of Plenty. It follows concerns that the block, which housed the ship's bridge, crew quarters, offices and galley, could collapse and send more debris towards the shore. The job is scheduled for 80 days - half of that time allows for bad weather and sea conditions - and will begin once a special crane barge arrives from Singapore.
Rena's owners wanted to leave part of the wreck on the reef after properly containing the site. Their initial plan was to leave the accommodation block as a diving attraction, but changed their minds in light of wave action and currents potentially battering it into a
US salvors Resolve will cut away sections and lift them onto a barge to transport to the Port of Tauranga and the scrapyard. A team of smaller craft will prevent debris reaching the shore.
But for now, salvors continue to cut Rena's bow to 1m below the lowest tide mark, removing container wreckage from damaged holds and clearing hundreds of tonnes of debris from the sea floor.
The entire operation has been a logistical nightmare, which involved a race to empty out fuel holds, and cranes dramatically removing containers stacked in high leaning towers. It has now reached the point where nothing of Rena is visible from above the water.
PS: 02 July 2013 - $11million compensation for businesses hurt by Rena grounding.