Following a successful test, the project team, led by Global Response Maritime B.V. has completed positioning all 12 lifting chains under the wreck.
Following a successful test, the project team, led by Global Response Maritime B.V. of The Netherlands, has completed positioning all 12 lifting chains under the wreck.
The 12 lifting chains were put in place by a revolutionary subsea drilling system in less than three weeks. This marks the first successful, totally subsea use of the drilling system in an offshore wreck removal.
The drilling system employed consists of a 110 ton subsea drilling module powering a remote operated, transponder guided drilling rod. The first lifting chain was pulled into place on withdrawing the drilling rod. The drilling and positioning of the lifting chains was subcontracted to a joint venture consisting of Belgium subsea specialists DISA and drilling technologists Gebr van Leeuwen Boringen of the Netherlands. Another subcontractor, Hapo International Barges, mobilised the crane barge "Missing Link", which is now acting as the main surface platform for the project team.
With all lifting chains in position, the main operational phase will commence in early May. Hapo will mobilise two 140m flat-top barges rigged with heavy mobile cranes, together with two support tugs. A series of 24 chain pullers, installed on the flat-top barges, will be connected up to the lifting chains now on location. The two lifting barges will be moored parallel to MSC Napoli"s stern. When preparations for the main lift are completed, the barges will be ballasted down to compensate for the forces acting on the pullers and reduce movement in the swell.
When the MSC Napoli"s stern section has been lifted to the surface with the pullers, wreck sections of around 100 tons each will be cut and lifted onto the main decks of the barges, using the mobile cranes. This work will progress until the total weight is reduced to around 1,200 tons. At that point a decision will be taken on whether to lift the remains as one unit, or to continue to cut until the weight is within the capacity of the larger of the two deck mounted cranes.