© Djoach via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0

© Djoach via Wikimedia Commons – CC BY-SA 4.0

The ship owner MSC Croisières has ordered four new mega cruise ships from STX France. This exceptional contract, worth an all-time high of four billion euros, means that the Saint-Nazaire shipyards now boast a full backlog.

Just a few weeks after launching the world’s largest ocean liner, Harmony of the Seas, STX France has recorded a historic order worth four billion euros. The Saint-Nazaire shipyards have been contracted to build four new mega liners for MSC, the Swiss-Italian cruise company, which has already purchased 12 ships from STX since 2003.

The world’s fourth largest cruise company, the ship owner has ramped up its investments in order to double its fleet with the aim of establishing itself as a lead player on a fast-growing sector. MSC is seeking to carry 3.6 million passengers per year by 2021, in comparison with the 1.7 million recorded last year.

Over 3,000 jobs

Baptised “World Class”, the four new cruise ships to be built at the Saint-Nazaire shipyards will measure 335 m in length and 47 m in width, and will contain over 2,750 passenger cabins. With a tonnage of over 200,000 GT, they will be listed among the largest cruise ships in the world and will be powered by natural gas.

By the time the final options are delivered, in 2026, this order should represent 37 million hours of work and involve over 3,000 jobs.

STX is going full steam ahead with MRE

While the shipbuilding sector is currently experiencing strong growth, activity at the Saint-Nazaire shipyards slumped back in the early 2000s. Supported by the Pays de la Loire region, STX France embarked on a successful diversification strategy aimed at establishing itself as a key player in the field of marine renewable energies. The group invested 20 M€ in building a MRE-dedicated plant in Saint-Nazaire, named Anemos subsequently going on to win several international tenders. More recently, STX was chosen for the construction, off-shore installation and maintenance of the electrical substations for two offshore windfarms: a 300 MW substation for the Belgian generation facility Rentel and a 385 MW substation for Arkona’s German generation facility.

Marine industry: a historic order worth four billion euros for STX France