La Ciotat Shipyards' new 4300 tonne platform to meet the highest environmental and sustainability standards
Moreover, La Ciotat Shipyards will equip the quays of the new platform with an innovative biomimicry system that will reproduce the natural habitats of local marine species, thus fostering their reproduction. This feature, which has already been tested at a smaller scale in the Marseilles’ harbour, will cover no less than 600sqm and so will form the world’s largest artificial fish nursery to be installed in a harbour.
Actions to minimising local noise and pollution from truck movementsIn another innovative move, environmental protection will also be given special attention throughout the construction phase. With the collaboration of the company Vinci Travaux Maritimes, which will be in charge of all the earthworks, dredging, depollution and civil works for the platform, a large number of innovative solutions will be implemented to ensure that the new working site can be established with minimal impact on the environmental.
In order to keep the CO2emissions and disturbance to the immediate neighbourhood at the lowest possible level, up to 98% of the 80,000 cubic metres of the soil that will be excavated for the project will be reused on the site. As a result the number of truck movements will be reduced to as few as 2-3 per day during the months that those works take place, instead of 25-30 trucks per day that would have been required without those optimisation measures. Anti-dust and noise protection systems will also be installed. Wildlife protectionFinally, and very importantly, special attention has been devoted to the protection of the resident fauna and flora, which are particularly rich in the bay of La Ciotat. State-of-the-art protection procedures that minimise the release of suspended matter from the site into the waters of the bay will therefore be double the usual provision. To avoid any disturbance to the dolphins that live in the bay, two double bubble curtains will also be installed in order to suppress the noise caused by the underwater works.
Visual monitoring of nearby cetaceans will also be undertaken throughout the construction phase to monitor their well-being. As part of the above-mentioned environmental protection measures, La Ciotat Shipyards will also set up a comprehensive surveillance system to monitor and measure their effectiveness. This long-term monitoring programme will be implemented during the construction phase and will be maintained during the future exploitation phase. Features of the programme will include the recruitment of an environmental expert, regular survey of water turbidity at five different locations both inside and outside of the harbour and also acoustic monitoring using a hydrophone-equipped buoy.
According to Alexandre Rolland, Project Director for La Ciotat Shipyards: "The full package of environmental measures that will be implemented both during the construction works and the ex-ploitation phase, represents a total investment of almost €5 million and have been designed after long studies in close partnership with public authorities such as the Calanques’ National Park. With all the environmental constraints that we have been able to accommodate, the 4,300t plat-form in La Ciotat will clearly be an outstanding project from an environmental and sustainability perspective."La Ciotat Shipyards is now looking forward to the decision of the prefet, who holds the final word on all environmental issues."