Where next for Costa Concordia?

Now that the Costa Concordia is upright two important questions remain. Can she be repaired sufficiently to be floated away from the island? If so, where will she go to be dismantled?

Originally the time for on-site repairs was two weeks. Will this still hold when the salvage team has inspected the extent of the damage?

If this timetable is respected will Costa Concordia be taken as planned to Piombino, the nearest port, or further afield?

Genoa is the largest and best-equipped port to handle the break-up and Naples and Palermo are also interested but all are considerably further away.

However the Tuscan port of Piombino is small. At present it handles ferry traffic for Elba and Sardinia and steel shipments from a couple of jetties where the maximum length is 160 m and the depth of water is 11.89 m.

The 114.000-ton Costa Concordia is 290 m long, with a draft (the part of the ship below the water) of 8.20 m.

Piombino is classed as an economic crisis area and its port is now in the process of a government-approved infrastructure upgrade. The €160 million plan includes dredging and port restructuring to receive the Costa Concordia.

Will the new infrastruture be ready in time to receive the wreck before the unfavourable winter sets in? And once safely docked, there is still the question of the equipment to dismantle it.