November 24, 2000 - The proposed stretching of Costa Classica at British yard Cammell Laird has come to a sudden halt.
The ship was due at the Merseyside shipyard this week to have a new section fitted in an order worth up to ú50 million.
The work was due to continue until next March, helping to safeguard hundreds of jobs. But Costa Classica unexpectedly turned back off the coast of Spain on Wednesday, and is now returning to Genoa.
Cammell Laird says it received an application from Costa Crociere for the contract to go to arbitration. The shipbuilder states: "The arbitrator has been requested to determine the legality of whether Costa Crociere has the right to postpone delivery of the vessel and/or terminate the contract.
"Cammell Laird has taken legal advice concerning its contractual position and considers there are no such rights. The practical implication of the notification is that Costa Crociere wish to delay the delivery of the vessel until arbitration has been completed."
From seaview website: <www.seaview.com>
The company said it intended to launch a new mid-body section, which has already been built for the liner, on Sunday.
John Quigley, national officer of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, said it would be "simply outrageous" if the contract did not now go ahead. "It is unacceptable if this company is leaving the yard high and dry".