Dutch shipping company Flinterstar lll BV has signed a contract with a consortium of Belgian salvage companies to remove the wreck of its general cargo ship Flinterstar, which sank in October 2015 off the coast of Zeebrugge.
The consortium will be headed by SCALDIS, a joint company of DEME, Jan De Nul and Herbosch-Kiere.
The wreck of the 9,000 dwt vessel, which sank after colliding with an LNG tanker, was split in two sections, according to the company.
“Our primary concern has been that the wreck removal operation should be undertaken in the safest and most environmentally sensitive manner possible,” Bart Otto, Director of Flinterstar lll BV, said, adding that the operating is expected to “be completed on schedule this summer.”
Now the contract has been awarded, SCALDIS will start the preparation and mobilisation phases in order to commence on-site operations in the coming weeks.
At present, although the wreck is upright on the seabed, it is separated into two sections which will be lifted from the seabed and placed onto a barge, then transported for appropriate disposal.
SCALDIS will first remove the cargo, and simultaneously, the lifting points and/or lifting chains will be installed underneath the wreck.
“The methodology will ensure that the duration of the offshore operation is kept as short as possible and causes the minimum possible interference to the shipping traffic. Environmental concerns were also fully evaluated in organising the appropriate disposal method of the wreck sections and cargo ashore,” Martin Ockier, Board Member of SCALDIS, said.
In January 2016, the Belgian authorities have ordered the company to remove the wreck, as it was perceived to present a potential danger to shipping and the environment.