As the relatively new owner of Blohm+Voss, Lürssen will shortly be undertaking a review of the 35-month long concession B+V won to undertake superyacht refit and repair work at the La Ciotat drydock in France. By David Robinson

La Ciotat Semidep shipyard

Aerial view of La Ciotat Semidep shipyard. Photo copyright JC Verchere

Lürssen, the relatively new owner of Blohm+Voss (B+V), will shortly be undertaking a review of the 35-month long concession the latter won to undertake superyacht refit and repair work at the La Ciotat drydock in France.

Oliver Grün, Lürssen’s media relations manager, told SB: “Due to the confidentiality agreement that was in place until the end of October, we were not able to access the site or information regarding the facility in France previously. In the coming weeks, we will be discussing this topic together with the management of Blohm+Voss and La Ciotat Shipyards/SEMIDEP in order to provide a clear picture of the shipyard and the location in La Ciotat. We will then decide what the next steps will be and how to proceed.”

The concession started on November 1, 2016 and prior to the takeover of B+V the company had planned to put in place a local management team by the end of July, which was completed. B+V told SB prior to the takeover that: “The 200m (356ft) long and 60m (197ft) wide dock will be ‘ready to go’ from November 1 onwards. We will use the existing buildings to create offices for our team and project management; and we will create storage space for incoming goods, spare parts and tools.”

Between July and November, B+V indicated that they would will not only start utilising the existing premises, but also invest heavily in establishing local relations, especially with suppliers in La Ciotat and the Marseille Metropole. They also planned to invest in people and respective training.

In terms of working with local suppliers and companies already based around the dock, B+V commented: “The services we bring to La Ciotat complement the services currently offered by other companies on the yard. Blohm+Voss will bring additional business to the yard as we focus on the 80m (263ft)-plus sector and have a strong reputation for undertaking complex refits on time and on budget. Our goal is to partner with the companies currently on the yard to fully utilise our mutual synergy potential. We want to support La Ciotat Shipyards (SEMIDEP) in developing a strong local foothold in La Ciotat as well as a worldwide reputation for the maintenance and refit of superyachts.”

In respect of potential work, B+V told SB: “It was our customers’ request to set up a refit-facility in the Mediterranean. We had received several serious requests for superyacht which we can now talk about with our customers in detail since we won the tender in La Ciotat. La Ciotat is right where our customers are, about 60% of all superyachts are based in the Mediterranean. To open the facility at La Ciotat is fully in line with our current growth strategy and our strong customer focus.”

How much of what B+V planned to do was achieved before the takeover is unknown. No further information is likely until Lurssen completes its review of the La Ciotat concession agreement.