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Ports of Calais & Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

50-year concession for the operation of the ports of Calais and Boulogne-Sur-Mer and the design and construction of the port of Calais extension. Structured with two distinct entities to oversee the two complementary activities.



The Project consists of the concession of the ports of Calais and Boulogne-sur- Mer for a 50-year period, including in particular the design and construction of the Calais port extension (Calais 2015). This new extension is essential in order to provide Calais with a much larger capacity in order to face the evolution of traffic and fleet size. The latter was recently confirmed by the new vessel’s orders filed by Ferry Companies (P&O and DFDS).

The objectives of the Calais Port 2015 project include the aim of supporting trade – Calais is the leading port for trade with Great Britain – and strengthening development of intermodal transport between road, rail and sea. Calais is today France’s busiest port for passenger traffic and its fourth largest in terms of freight movement.

Furthermore, the development has been designed to anticipate the long-term effects of climate change – protecting the port against sea level rises of over 1m – to protect biodiversity and provide a source of employment for local people.

The project is structured around two companies: one Concessionaire Company (Société d’Exploitation des Ports du Détroit, SEPD) holding the concession of the ports and one Project Company (Société des Ports du Détroit, SPD) which is responsible solely for the financing, construction and heavy maintenance of the new Calais 2015 infrastructure. This structure, designed by Meridiam was instrumental to isolate the Project Company (where Meridiam’s investment is concentrated) from the demand risk.

Special attention was given to environmental studies to preserve the maritime environment and local terrestrial species. Namely, numerical simulations were carried out to appreciate the consequences on the development of coastal and marine living spaces and coastal risks (risks of erosion of the coastline and marine submersion). A comprehensive inventory of the wildlife fauna, flora and living spaces was conducted for over more than a year to accurately characterize these issues and take them into account in the design with adapted construction methods, quiet areas for birds, eco living space for marine wildlife. Monitoring measures are being carried out throughout the duration of the works.

A compensation site of about 20 hectares with high ecological potential in the immediate vicinity of the construction site was reinstated and is managed by the Conservatoire du Littoral.

Completion date 5 May 2021

Discover the project and learn more about it from the press release on the port opening and on its innovative contractual framework:

Port of Calais: innovative contractual framework




Passenger port in continental Europe


French port for goods, excluding containers


Jobs provided


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