Italian authorities are confident the Costa Concordia wreckage will be removed from Giglio in Italy by the end of the month, two and a half years after it sunk.

The ship hit rocks off the Italian coast in January 2012 while sailing on a Mediterranean itinerary.

Half the ship filled up with water and tipped underwater. Thirty-two lives were lost during the incident.

The Italian Government has since been keen to remove the ship, but plans have been hampered by poor weather, environmental concerns and politics.

However, this week authorities confirmed it has assigned marine salvage company, Titan Micoperi to tow the wreckage to Genoa, Italy where it will be dismantled and then recycled.

“The cabinet’s approval of the project for transportation of the Costa Concordia… means the achievement of the goal we set ourselves two-and-a-half years ago — namely, the safe and definitive removal of the wreck from Giglio Island — is now well within sight,” Costa Cruises chief executive Michael Thamm said.

In the next two weeks the ship will be fitted with two more sponsons – projections used to stabilise the vessel.

Once the ship is safely floating, it will be towed 190 nautical miles to the Port of Genoa Voltri.

Concordia will then be transferred to shipyard San Giorgio del Porto, where it will be dismantled.