La Ciotat Shipyards awards 35-year concession for 4,000-tonne shiplift to MB92

An €84m investment in expanding its facilities was announced by La Ciotat Shipyards at the recent Monaco Yacht Show. The €84m included €64m for a new 4,000-tonne capacity shiplift facility and €20m for a new marina village.

A 35-year exclusive rights-of-use concession was awarded to MB92, which will commence when the shiplift is completed in the fourth quarter of 2021. The shiplift will be able to accommodate up to eight superyachts up to 105m (345ft) at one time on a 23,000sq m area.

MB92, which already has major operations in La Ciotat through its ownership of Compositeworks and Blohm+ Voss La Ciotat, was the winner out of four ‘serious’ bidders, with the other three being two French companies and one Italian.

Jean-Yves Saussol, CEO of SEMIDEP-Ciotat (La Ciotat Shipyards), told IBI: “The fact is that MB92 is already active in La Ciotat. Their bid was the best and they showed the best understanding of the superyacht market and its refit and repair needs.”

He added: “La Ciotat Shipyards will be retaining one of the slots on the shiplift for use by other companies that want to use the new facility. This is a first in the industry, I think. As to choosing the shiplift supplier, the decision on this will be made early next year.”

The announcement, made at the 2018 Monaco Yacht Show, ended a year-long, competitive tendering process, during which all aspects of the project (technical, financial and operational) were carefully assessed.

In a statement, La Ciotat Shipyards said: “This arrangement fits perfectly into the economic model of La Ciotat Shipyards, which will carry out the works and will afterwards retain control of the shiplift operation, the quays and one megayacht slot on the platform.

“The financial offer of MB92 La Ciotat, backed by their shareholders and unrivalled knowledge of the megayacht market, will bring to La Ciotat cutting-edge equipment that perfectly suits the market’s needs and is capable of welcoming eight megayachts simultaneously.”

The final contract with MB92 La Ciotat will be signed this year. The 4,000-tonne shiplift is scheduled to start operating in the fourth quarter of 2021.

According to Patrick Boré, chairman of La Ciotat Shipyards: “It is once again a big day, not only for our company but also for the local community. Thanks to this new strategic partnership, the future of our economic model is secured, and we can carry on forging our path to creating a world-leading industrial centre of excellence.”

Saussol explained that the new marina village will provide a range of facilities including facilities for marine service and retail companies. “The new facilities are anticipated to create some 500 new jobs with about 50 on the shiplift and the other in subcontractors and the marina village.”

The new shiplift will add to an impressive array of facilities located at La Ciotat. These include two dry docks of 200m (656ft) and 45m (148ft); 1,600m (5,253ft) of quays, 65,000sq m of hard standing platforms, 25,000sq m of covered work space, a 300-tonne travel lift, a 2,000-tonne shiplift and cranage up to 660 tonnes lift capacity.

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