French ship repair facility to reopen
The French port of Marseille Fos will re-open its giant Drydock 10 ship repair facility in the autumn to cash in the repair market for the latest generation cruise vessels operating in the Med.
When completed, the 465m long 85m wide drydock, the third largest in the world after Lisbon and Dubai, will also target the repair market for container carriers, LNG tankers, bulk vessels and offshore rigs.
The facility first opened in 1975 to specialise in VLCC repairs, but closed in 2000 as the market moved east.
But now Marseille is looking to capitalise in on its status as a leading French cruise port by offering a repair base that minimises ship downtime for operators. Last year the port saw cruise passenger volume rise by 12% to a record 1.3m people from 493 calls.
A group consisting of Italy’s San Giorgio del Porto, the Med’s largest ship repairer, has been awarded the 25 year franchise for the facility. Its subsidiary Chantier Naval de Marseille, already operates two smaller drydocks at the port.
Main elements of the €28m renovation project will include the construction of a new 9,100 tonnes dock gate and refurbishment of the electrical and pumping systems. The project is being managed by French civil engineering firm, Spie batignolles TPCI.
The work is half funded by the state and by two regional government authorities, with the balance coming from the port authority’s own funds and through a €5.9m loan from the government investment body, Caisse des Depots.
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