GIGLIO, Italy, April 22 (UPI) -- The removal of the Costa Concordia from the coast of Italy will begin in May now that a salvage team has been chosen to handle the work, Costa Cruises said.
American company Titan Salvage, in partnership with Italian firm Micoperi, won the bid to upright the vessel and tow it to an Italian port, over five other firms, the company announced Saturday in a statement.
"All six tenders submitted by the March 3 deadline were of a very high standard, but the evaluation team decided that the Titan Salvage/Micoperi proposal best fulfilled the main objectives set out in the tender specifications: removal of the wreck in one piece, minimal risk, minimal environmental impact, protection of Giglio's economy and tourism industry, and maximum safety of the work," the statement said.
The work, pending final approval from Italian authorities, is expected to take 12 months to complete, Costa Cruises said.
Once completed, the sea bed damaged by the wreck around the island of Giglio will be cleaned up and replanted with sea life.
The Costa Concordia struck rocks off the coast of the island Jan. 13, killing 32 of the 3,200 passengers on board.
The cruise liner's captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest and faces possible charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship, failing to report an accident to the coast guard and destroying a natural habitat, CNN reported Sunday.