Workers attend the November 15, 2017 at Saint-Nazaire for the launch of the construction of the new ship MSC Grandiosa ordered by MSC Cruises (Photo JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD. AFP)
The shipyard STX France has launched on Wednesday in Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique) with the construction of a new giant ship for the group, swiss-Italian MSC Cruises, the largest ever built for a ship owner in europe with 331 meters long.
The first sheet of the “MSC Grandiosa” was symbolically cut in the workshop which will be machined more than 350,000 parts to build the hull of this cruise ship, which will accommodate over 8,000 passengers and crew members on board.
The “Grandiosa” is the third ship of the class “Meraviglia” of the owner, swiss-Italian. It will be longer than fifteen metres, and will feature 200 booths of more than the first ship of this class, the “MSC Meraviglia,” and that his twin brother, the “MSC Bellissima”, in the course of construction at Saint-Nazaire.
The two new ships of the class “Meraviglia” will both be delivered in 2019. Their construction marks the close cooperation between STX France and MSC Cruises. The company, based in Geneva (Switzerland), has already built 13 ships in Saint-Nazaire since 2002 and must receive the other seven in total in the next nine years.
“For the last fifteen years, MSC and the family Aponte (founder of the company, editor’s NOTE) have supported with pride in the shipyard and shipbuilding, French, whatever happens,” stressed Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises.
The shipyard of Saint-Nazaire has to deliver a “two ships per year until 2022 at least,” said its general manager Laurent Castaing.
In 2018, the shipyard of Saint-Nazaire, who is expected to officially pass under the control of its Italian competitor Fincantieri at the beginning of the year, will deliver two vessels for his other historical customer, the owner of american Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL): the “Symphony of the Seas” in march, and the first of four units of the class “Edge” in October.
In addition to these four cruise ships, stadiums, more or less, advanced assembly, STX France is finalising the construction of two electric sub-stations for fields of wind turbines in the sea, delivered in the first quarter of 2018.
Has the close in his workshops and in the holds of his ships at Saint-Nazaire, STX France has started to outsource a few blocks of sheet metal for the “MSC Bellissima” to the shipyard Crist in Poland.
The shipyard of Saint-Nazaire, which is working to 7,000 people, including the 2,800 employees, has hired 900 employees since 2013 to cope with the workload, and still currently has 120 open positions, according to the direction of STX France.