Following its acquisition of Blohm+Voss last fall, Lürssen will now use the “Great Dry Dock” at refit specialist La Ciotat Shipyards with a partner. That partner is MB92. This, according to the management company for the French refit site.
The roots of this story go back to last spring. That’s when SEMIDEP, which manages La Ciotat, sought proposals to attract larger megayachts. Specifically, the management company wanted yachts upwards of 262 feet (80 meters). This, it believed, would make it more competitive within Europe, plus address the growing upper end of the market. The drydock could certainly accommodate these yachts. It measures 656 feet by 197 feet (200 meters by 60 meters). In June, Blohm+Voss won the bid, obtaining usage rights for an initial 35 months.
Those rights were set to go into effect this past November. However, in late September, Lürssen acquired Blohm+Voss, finalizing the purchase in November. That led Lürssen and SEMIDEP to talk further about the future of the Great Dry Dock. Related to this, Lürssen could not access the site until formally closing the Blohm+Voss deal.
According to SEMIDEP, the goal with the Lürssen discussions was “for speeding up the workplan of Blohm+Voss La Ciotat, while preserving the initial ambitions of the project.” During those discussions, Lürssen confirmed that it was speaking with MB92 about joining forces. Now that the two are collaborating, SEMIDEP says MB92 “brings to the deal a significant order book likely to be transferred rapidly to La Ciotat.” It adds that Lürssen and MB92 will bolster the local yachting infrastructure and create jobs.
Jean-Yves Saussol, CEO of SEMIDEP-Ciotat confirms, “We are very confident in the long-term development of Blohm+Voss La Ciotat, as the company is addressing a strategic and ever-growing segment of the value chain within our Industry by developing yacht refit services within the closest proximity to usual customer routes.”
The Great Dry Dock, which has been undergoing upgrades, will mark the upcoming new era officially on April 3.