SEMIDEP-La Ciotat has confirmed that Blohm+Voss has been selected to lease its 200 x 60m dry dock space within La Ciotat Shipyards for a period of 35 months. The space has been the subject of a 16 million euro renovation and has potential usable space of up to 335m. spoke exclusively to SEMIDEP-La Ciotat CEO, Jean-Yves Saussol immediately following the board meeting where the deal was formally agreed.

"For us it's great news and we see it as an opportunity to grow and address this new market segment of megayachts - more specifically, the very large projects.  

"What we liked in Blohm+Voss' offer was, not only the know-how and skills but the strategy and the board was very interested in [the plan] to develop new partnerships locally and to create a real company locally; not just sending people in from Hamburg, but setting up a French company in La Ciotat with its own people and the intention to create local bonds with partners."

Saussol explained that the three-year term represented a trial of sorts that would allow both partners to ensure the project delivers on its expectations. But he added that the job creation, infrastructural development and industrial growth was an extremely attractive proposition for everyone.

"If things go well, we envisage a long-term arrangement in the future, with larger investments and so on", he concluded. 

The La Ciotat facility.

This proposal was considered to be the best bid based on the three tender criteria:

  • The quality of the envisaged project, particularly in relation to the development of business and employment for the region
  • The credibility of the application, especially with regard to professional, technical and financial strength
  • The quality of the financial proposal, especially with regard to the sharing of loyalty fees with SEMIDEP

The board of directors at La Ciotat also agreed that the project proposed by Blohm+Voss, focused on refitting megayachts of over 80 metres in length in the ‘Grande Forme’ facility, offers the greatest potential for long-term development for the territory and for local employment. At the end of the 35 months, Blohm+Voss intends to create around one hundred jobs directly on the La Ciotat site, with around a further 400 jobs in local co-contractor companies.

Furthermore, the new Blohm + Voss facility will offer la Citotat the opportunity to gain a competitive edge over its Mediterranean competitors and to create a strong foothold against the shipyards of northern Europe on bigger projects.

The proposed fee arrangement introduces a completely new direct profit-sharing system from SEMIDEP, which is proportional to the sales generated by the new provider. This system promises to multiply the fee received up to now by five. This money will enable continuing investment in the development of the site.

The development of the site will actually go beyond the ‘Grande Forme’ facility, and will provide growth prospects for all companies that take advantage of the opportunities offered to them. As part of an ongoing strategic analysis, SEMIDEP has already begun to look at the future expansion potential of the shipyard.

The original call for tenders.


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Blohm + Voss Shipyards GmbH

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