Italian oil service company Saipem has bid for the job of scrapping the hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, which capsized off the Tuscany coast more than two years ago, a source close to the matter said on Thursday.
An Italian junior minister said last year that demolishing the ship would cost around 350 million euros ($475 million).
Saipem, 43 percent owned by oil and gas group ENI, has presented an offer, together with Genoa-based companies Mariotti and San Giorgio, to demolish the ship in the port of Genoa, the source said.
The deadline for offers was midnight on Wednesday and the tender will be awarded in March.
Saipem declined to comment.
A second source said there had been a total of 12 bids to scrap the Concordia, five of which came from Italian groups that plan to destroy the ship in domestic ports.
Also today, experts have boarded the Concordia to investigate whether there is more to the ship's sinking than is contained in the prosecutors' case against its captain. A team examined the bridge and elevators of the ship, in an attempt to determine if any factors beyond human error contributed to the shipwreck, and next month they will examine the emergency generators.
The massive Concordia washed up on rocks on Jan. 13, 2012, killing 32 people. Since then, it has been hauled upright but still rests where it capsized off the coast of the holiday island Giglio.
Experts also boarded the liner to examine its bridge and elevators, as trial against its captain continues.