The Marseilles Fos port authority is launching a tender for the use of its drydock No.10 – the largest in the Mediterranean – as a repair facility for the latest generation cruise ships, container carriers and tankers. The winning bidder is due to be selected by the end of the year and will be expected to demonstrate recent experience of handling ships more than 250 meters long.
Dock 10 is 465m long and 85m wide, making it capable of accepting the 360m-long containerships now frequenting the port. Cruise ships of more than 330m have also become regular callers. With 65% of the world fleet of large cruise vessels concentrated in the Mediterranean – and no comparable facility in the vicinity – the port authority sees cruise sector repairs as another key market sector.
The No. 8 and 9 drydocks currently in use at Marseilles measure 320x50m and 250x37m respectively. The operating concession for them was awarded last year to Genoa-based San Giorgio del Porto’s subsidiary Chantier Naval de Marseille.
Number 10 drydock entered service in 1975 aimed at the tanker repair market, which gradually shifted to regions such as Asia. Until 2000, the dock was being used as a back-up resource docks 8 and 9. In 2007, containership company CMA CGM won a tender to operate dock 10 but did not proceed with the project due to the global economic crisis.