South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has allocated $91.6 million for the salvage the passenger ship Sewol that sank last year killing over 300 people, mostly school children.
The salvage will involve the 6,825-ton vessel out of the water without causing damage that could cause the loss of the nine bodies believed to be inside.
Salvage bids will be ranked according to a 100-point scale, with technological capability accounting for 90 percent of the evaluation, reports local news agency Yonhap. The bidding price will account for the other 10 percent.
The terms of the salvage tender require the salvor to film the entire process in high-resolution video. The project must be completed by the end of 2016 including any delays associated with adverse weather.
Bids must be announced by 18:00 on June 22.
The ferry is expected to be significantly corroded. It is located on the seafloor of the Maenggol Channel which is known for its strong and potentially dangerous currents.
Sewol is located in 44 meters (144 feet) of water and is now on its left side in about 1.5 meters (five feet) of sediment.
Various plans have been proposed for the vessel’s salvage. One involves divers drilling 93 holes in the side of the vessel so it could be tied to two cranes which would then be used to lift it about three meters (10 feet) off the sea floor. It could then be moved to a safer location for lifting, or on to submersible floating dock.
Sewol sank on April 16, 2014, while en route to the country's southern resort island of Jeju.