After several months of work, the Grande Forme de La Ciotat was inaugurated with great pomp on Monday 3 April 2017. The ceremony took place at the shipyards of La Ciotat, in the presence of Peter LÜRSSEN, Managing Partner of the LÜRSSEN group, holder of the operation of the refit basin and representatives of local authorities, Bernard DEFLESSELLES, Vice-President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur Regional Council, Martine VASSAL, President of the Bouches-du-Rhône County Council and Patrick BORÉ, Mayor of La Ciotat and President of SEMIDEP-Ciotat.
The 15.8 million renovation work on the Grande Forme, built in 1969, was completed in October 2016. Financed by the local authorities and SEMIDEP-Ciotat, a semi-public company in charge of managing the La Ciotat construction sites, these works have upgraded equipment that has become partly obsolete. The main changes were:
- replacement of the door boat
- the installation of a new notch for the door boat, allowing the length of the refit basin to be reduced to 200 m, a size more adapted to yachting, while adding quay space
- a new, more modern pumping station
- a more robust electrical network with 13 400A to 1250A terminals around the basin
Strengthening the yacht market
The new equipment aims to strengthen the Ciotadenne activity in the yacht and superyacht sector. Launched in 2000 to save the naval industrial site of La Ciotat, the large yachting sector is now well established and has created 700 jobs in 35 companies. The latter welcome more than 100 boats of more than 50 meters per year.
The new equipment should enable the La Ciotat site to position itself on the refit market for megayachts longer than 80 metres.
Operation by Lürssen
The exploitation of the great shape of La Ciotat had been awarded in March 2016 to the German shipyard Blohm+Voss, arousing the anger of the local candidate companies. Following the acquisition in November 2016 of Blohm+Voss by LÜRSSEN, a leader in the superyacht sector, it is finally a subsidiary of the group, created in partnership with the Spanish shipyard MB92, which will exploit the form for the 35 months of the initial concession.