French company Matière and Bardex Corp in ths US to design and build 4,300-tonne lift

La Ciotat Shipyards in the South of France has awarded the design-build contract for a new 4,300-tonne shiplift to a partnership between French company Matière and US-based Bardex Corp.

The decision follows a competitive procedure in which two other global companies participated. The solution agreed upon is said to be “unprecedented in the yachting industry” and is the result of a bespoke combination of proven technology and major innovation.

“Based on a chain jack technology which has already proven its reliability and sturdiness including on operating shiplifts and in the oil & gas Industry, it keeps maintenance and operating costs under control,” says the French refit yard in a statement. “This solution also addresses the specific needs of large yachts thanks to the addition of several improvements.”

Improvements include a double rail motorised transfer system with hydraulic technology as well as a fluid bed, allowing yachts to leave the lift laterally or longitudinally. Direct docking on the platform will also be possible. The platform lift will be designed to handle yachts up to 4,300 tonnes and 105m in length.

“The procedure of competitive dialogue that we went through over the last few months kept its promises by letting innovative technological solutions emerge,” says Alexandre Rolland, project director of the 4,300-tonne shiplift at La Ciotat Shipyards. “Matière and Bardex have proven that they can offer the best compromise on price and quality.

“Having a French company as a main partner in the team is very reassuring in view of allowing better control over costs and delays, which is critical for this project,” he adds. “Very positive feedback from clients that have been using Bardex shiplift systems for more than 20 years also reinforced our decision.

Jean-Yves Saussol, CEO of La Ciotat Shipyards, says: “The fact that half of the contract’s added value goes to a French manufacturer is hugely satisfying. It shows that French industry, of which La Ciotat Shipyards wants to be one of the flagships, can deliver high value at fair prices.”