Considered the largest European port infrastructure project of the decade, the new Port of Calais has been inaugurated.
The extension and modernisation of the port represented an investment of €863 million.
Located in the heart of one of the busiest, most active maritime straits in the world in terms of passenger and goods transport, the new Port of Calais was designed in 2002.
This port extension and modernisation project was conceived to anticipate and adapt to the development of cross-Channel traffic, new-generation ships and the logistics and industrial needs of tomorrow.
With heavy goods traffic which has practically doubled and a volume of cross-Channel freight which has tripled over the past 20 years, the infrastructure of the Port of Calais no longer made it possible to ensure an optimal quality of service.
Once the capacity limit had been reached, its extension appeared essential.
Beyond increasing the capacity of the terminals, the challenge was also to accommodate future generations of ferries over 220 metres long which require longer docking quays and whose manoeuvres require larger basins.
The extension of the Port of Calais includes a seawall of more than three kilometres long, a 170-hectare basin, 90 hectares of which are navigable in the first phase, 65 hectares of platforms and roads, three new ferry berths, as well as 39 buildings necessary for the operation and secure reception of port customers.
With 100 ship movements every day and soon a departure every 36 minutes, Calais is the leading French passenger port with 8.5 million passengers annually (2019 figures).
Having disappeared in July 1999, duty-free is making a big comeback on the cross-Channel route.
The duty-free shop will cover 1,000 metres squared on the ground floor of the Le Calais building in the customs area, accessible directly from the boarding areas.
The new port provides Calais and the Hauts-de-France region with an exceptional facility that resolutely looks to the future.