Port of Marseille Fos and Monaco Marine confirm new megayacht shipyard

On 20th September 2018, the Port of Marseille Fos and Monaco Marine Marseille officially signed their partnership to create a mega yacht maintenance and refit centre in the Mirabeau harbour sector of the Port of Marseille Fos.

For a period of 50 years, the Port has granted an area of 55,000 m2 dedicated to marine pleasure craft repair to the company Monaco Marine, which specialises in yacht maintenance and refit between Monaco and Marseille.

Keen to reinforce the development of port activity related maritime and industrial activities in the port area, the Port of Marseille Fos launched a call for projects at the beginning of 2018 with the aim of attracting proposals and initiating a general industrial project in the area of the Port known as the Mirabeau harbour. At the end of the process, having presented an ambitious project for a maintenance and renovation centre dedicated to very large 90 to 133-meter yachts, the company Monaco Marine was selected.

“Alongside Monaco Marine, the Port of Marseille Fos is now enthusiastically committed to a 50-year concession contract,” said Jean-Marc Forneri, Chair of the Port of Marseille Fos Supervisory Board. “This development project is not only good news for the yachting business in Marseille, but also for the local ship repair cluster which has nearly 90 companies in our area. This Marseille project is not intended to compete with its neighbour La Ciotat but proposes a complimentary offer that strengthens the regional offer and creates a coherent whole ready to tackle the Spanish and Italian competition on this segment.”

Monaco Marine will invest more than €44 million in the maintenance and refit centre project, notably by ordering and commissioning a 6,000-ton yacht lift - the world's largest in the yacht repair business.

The Port of Marseille will invest €27 million in infrastructure works to create the platform, an amount for which it will receive support from the State and the Region: €1.25 million each, i.e. €2.5 million under the 2015-2020 State Region Contract Plan for ship repair.

The Port of Marseille Fos already has an international reputation in the marine pleasure craft repair sector due to its remarkable technical capabilities and the expertise developed over many years by companies such as Palumbo Marseille Superyacht, ITM and Sud Marine Shipyard and the network of local subcontractors who are now highly specialised in specific yacht industry-related activities. With this facility, the Marseille area now has an additional asset, which strengthens the Port of Marseille Fos in the face of its Mediterranean competitors. The entire ecosystem of port-related activities in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region and ship repair subcontracting will benefit from this growth.

“The strong growth in the megayacht market requires an increase in our capacity for very large units (up to 6,000 tonnes and 130 m in length) that only the Port of Marseille Fos infrastructure and waters can accommodate. With the creation of this base in Marseille, in addition to our excellent La Ciotat shipyard for units of 50 to 80 meters and the imminent opening of our site in Toulon-La Seyne for 35-50 meter vessels, we are able to offer our full services on all types of yachts and mega yachts,” said Michel Ducros, President of the Monaco Marine Group.

He added: “We are very confident in our future in Marseille where the quality of the infrastructure and the management of the Port, supported by all the local authorities in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, were determining factors in our decision to invest a considerable sum. We are delighted with the prospect of creating hundreds of direct and indirect jobs and contributing to the dynamism and prosperity of the Port and city we are attached to.”