Work on the €126m main contract starts in September and involves the construction of 1,200 m of quay and dredging to deepen the draught alongside by 2 m to a guaranteed 14.5 m. Taking two years to complete, the work will be carried out by the GTM Genie Civil et Services group, which includes Eiffage Construction, Sapiem – formerly Bouygues Offshore – and Dredging International.
The schedule includes a final four months for evaluation. Ahead of this, in spring 2009, the PMA will hand over the quay to the stevedoring companies for the landside development phase. Fos 2XL is due to be in service 12 months later.
The total cost of the project, including preparatory and access work, is more than €400m. Public finance of €206.4m is being provided by the PMA together with national and regional government grants. The combined Port Synergy and MSC outlay is estimated at €200–€250m. Fos 2XL is expected to generate some 4,500 direct and indirect jobs.
In the meantime, container throughput at Marseilles-Fos in January–April reached 326,000 teu, up 5% on the first four months of last year. The total included a 9% increase on east-west trades, to 230,000 teu.
April proved exceptionally busy in all cargo sectors, with total throughput rising 33% to more than 10m tonnes, as the port cleared a backlog from strike action the previous month. As a result, the overall volume for the four-month period was just 2.6% down at 31.75m tonnes.
General cargo logged a 4.3% increase for the period to reach 5.65m tonnes. This included container tonnage of 3.24m tonnes (+5%) and a 10% rise in ro-ro traffic to 1.38m tonnes. Liquid bulks also registered year-on-year growth, with a 14% rise to 1.09m tonnes.
Oil traffic recovered from a 15.9% first-quarter deficit to finish only 2.5% down at the end of April on 20.4m tonnes. Dry bulks improved eight points on the January–March deficit to return 4.6m tonnes (-12.9%) for the first four months.