French shipbuilder Chantiers de l'Atlantique has completed the extension of its pre-assembly area began in July last year increasing its production capability by 30%.
With the work completed the yard floor area is now expanded by 17,000m2, meaning a 30% gain. By lengthening the rail of the 1,400-tonne gantry crane - which is assembling the hull of the large vessels - by 135 m the completed project allows six more mega-blocks to be assembled and outfitted.
"This investment worth €16 million allows us to move to a simultaneous construction capacity of 22 blocks, compared to 16 previously and thus meet the increase in the current and future industrial load of the yard, " said Laurent Castaing, General Manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
The work was commenced when the yard was still known as STX France but under threat. In February this year the French government authorised Italian builder Fincantieri to take an effective controlling interest in the yard. It is an important yard militarily for France being the only facility in the country able to accommodate large vessels such as aircraft carriers.
Commercially the yard is best known for its cruise ship construction. This year it has delivered two vessels – the world’s largest cruise ship Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Symphony of the Seas and Celebrity Edge (pictured above) for Celebrity Cruises. The orderbook currently comprises a further ten cruise ships – six for MSC Crociere, three for Celebrity and one for Royal Caribbean. Delivery dates extend from next year through to March 2024.