As French and UK ministers met today to try and tackle the ongoing migrant crisis at France’s Port of Calais, it was separately announced that a PPP deal for an expansion programme at the port worth nearly $1bn had been signed.
The $967m (€863m) extension – undertaken as a public-private partnership (PPP) – will see the addition of 3,200m of new breakwater, the creation of a new 90ha basin and the reclamation of 50ha of landfills.
The news of the PPP’s financial close came from UK-based engineering firm Mott MacDonald, who acted as lenders’ technical advisor during the scheme’s financing, and who will now monitor design and construction.
The extension of the Port of Calais is being implemented to support the growth of cross-channel activities by providing additional capacities to the existing links between France and the UK– Erwann Pilé, Mott MacDonald
Even though the Port of Calais is the fourth largest port in France, it has the highest amount of passenger traffic, Mott MacDonald said.
A dedicated cross-channel area will also be developed at the port, containing three ferry berths capable of accommodating 240m vessels.
Other works will include a new fret area to supply the existing roll-on/roll-off berths, a new cluster of buildings including a terminal, administrative offices and warehouses totalling approximately 9,400 sq m and landscaping of a 145,000 sq m area.
Mott MacDonald said it assessed the project risk profile to advise the lenders on potential technical issues relating to contracts, design and construction subjects and operation issues.
The consultancy will now monitor the progress of construction in relation to the agreed schedule and check that drawdowns are made accordingly with the works.
Erwann Pilé, Mott MacDonald’s country manager for France, said: "The extension of the Port of Calais is being implemented to support the growth of cross-channel activities by providing additional capacities to the existing links between France and the UK."
Construction of the Port of Calais extension is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
Photograph: Artist’s render of the new, expanded Port of Calais (Port de Calais)