Rijkswaterstaat, a part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, has awarded the final salvage contract for the complete removal of the sunken car carrier Baltic Ace to the Boskalis and its partner Mammoet Salvage.
The contract includes removal of the entire wreck, its cargo and 540,000 liters of fuel oil. The first stage of the salvage will entail removing the oil and any other harmful substances from the ship, than the wreck will be cut in pieces using the same method as for salvaging of the MV Tricolor.
The wreck parts, including cars that were onboard the vessel at the time of the incident, will be loaded on pontoons by large floating cranes after which they will be towed onto dry land for demolition.
Due to the rough weather conditions in the North Sea during the winter months, the salvage operation is expected to begin in spring/summer 2015, while the oil removal will start later this year.
The 148 meter-long Baltic Ace lays just 35 meters deep in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. The wreck hinders safe and rapid passage of 16,000 ships that pass through the area annually.
On 5 December 2012, car carrier Baltic Ace collided with the Cyprus-registered container ship Corvus J in the North Sea while underway from Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Kotka, Finland with a cargo of about 1,400 Mitsubishi cars. The incident took place some 100km (60 miles) from the port of Rotterdam. According to a representative of the shipping company, the cause of the accident was likely a human error.
WMN Staff, March 27, 2014