French region planning major port concession

08 January 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

France is looking to sell a major port under a concession agreement, with a required cash injection of EUR 357m to redevelop the asset.

Clarification: This article has been corrected to make clear that the deadline for investors to register their interest in the RFI process for the development of Port-La-Nouvelle is 4 February, not 2 February.

On Tuesday (8 January), the Region of Occitanie – an administrative region on France’s south coast – published a PIN for the development of the Port-La Nouvelle on the Mediterranean coast.

The transaction involves managing the operation of the asset – France’s third-largest Mediterranean port – and investments of EUR 357m over 30 years to develop its commercial operations. The port specializes in grain exports and hydrocarbon imports.

The deadline for investors to apply for the RFI is 4 February.

It is understood that leasing the facility to an outside operator will help open the port to new markets, increase traffic and develop trading activity.

The eventual concessionaire will be required to form a Société d’économie mixte à opération unique (SEMOP), a specialised consortium consisting of public and private partners.

State bank CDC has represented the public sector in the past, forming a consortium with Meridiam in July 2013 for the EUR 863m Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer Ports Concession – involving the 50-year DBFOM of those two port facilities.

Other private partners involved in past port projects include Vinci, the Natixis-managed FIDEPPP 2 fund and French contractor Groupe NGE.

Aside from this planned concession, Port-La Nouvelle is planning to build a new outer harbour, jointly financed by Occitanie, the department of Aude and the intercommunity of Grand Narbonne – a cluster of 37 municipalities around the city of Narbonne.

It is understood that the redevelopment of the port is also geared towards facilitating the emergence of a 24.8MW offshore wind farm near the commune of Gruissan, Aude – the first planned offshore wind farm in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Region of Occitanie was unavailable for comment.

 

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