Port to gain competitive edge

The project involves major works designed to extend and modernise the Port of La Rochelle with a view to increasing the traffic capacities of the port from 7 million tons in 2010 to 10 million tons by 2015.

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For the region, this promises to bring economic gains in terms of jobs created and increased business activity. Environmental concerns have not been left out of the equation either, with a series of mitigation measures integrated into an environmental action plan.

A hive of productive activity

Recognising the potential of the port as a pivotal transport hub, the project aims to improve safety and working conditions, guarantee the longevity and competitiveness of the port through the development of profitable business activities, and enable the port to comply with French legislation on large port developments. It will also contribute to local regional development by offering alternative and sustainable solutions for freight operations.

Creating a new look

The infrastructure works include the construction and redevelopment of quays. In particular, efforts will focus on improving access for ships entering and exiting the port, notably through rock excavation work, benefiting larger ships with 14 metre draughts. Other priorities are safety on the port’s rail network, separation of the road and rail transport system, development of the north quay and demolition of boat sheds.

The works will see an area of 880 000 m³ filled in (waste making up 400 000 m³ of this), and the development of 11.5 hectares of land, 1 450 metres of dykes and 160 metres of quays. The end result for the region will be an attractive, efficient and profitable port area, ready to handle the increasing levels of port operations.

Benefits across the board

The direct beneficiaries are the port itself, as well as businesses dealing with the port, port workers, maritime companies and local residents (in particular, an improved quality of life through the boost to the local economy and jobs). The indirect beneficiaries are numerous and include local and regional authorities which stand to gain financially from the increased port operations, businesses trading directly with the port, and businesses further inland (notably the rail transport sector). By operating as a key, competitive transport link, the region can look ahead to healthy financial prospects.

Draft date

21/02/2011