PNA shows resilience in 2011 and looks forward to 2012

Victor Jarny - 17/02/12

Execution of a number of projects in 2012 — including Alstom and EDF’s use of PNA facilities as a construction site and hub for assembling wind turbines — is set to strengthen PNA’s place in cross-Channel trade. 

Jean-Michel SÉVIN, CEO of PNA, states, "2012 looks very promising. The revitalisation of the two port locations [Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg] is taking shape. Their development outlook appears encouraging, and the ports should be able to consolidate, or even increase their economic impact."

PNA has published its full results for the year 2011 and its forecast for the year 2012.


Passenger-traffic numbers are encouraging

PNA ports experienced a slight increase in passenger traffic in 2011 as a result of sustained traffic flow between France and Ireland; a significant recovery in traffic between Cherbourg and England, especially during the summer season; and, finally, a very good year for cruise activity.

Cruise activity was particularly high in 2011. This was true, specifically, of Cherbourg, which recorded 40 calls by cruise liners and a 50.85% increase in the number of passengers. At close to 100,000, a record-high number of cruise passengers (95,840) passed through the port of Cherbourg. 

Moreover, cross-Channel activity between Ireland as well as England and the port of Cherbourg was up by 7.60%. This compensated for the drop in traffic between Caen and the South of England, with a decrease in the use of the Caen-Ouistreham-to-Portsmouth line, which stemmed from a combination of stagnant demand and high-capacity supply in the English Channel and in the North Sea. 

After the Dover Strait, however, Caen-Ouistreham remains by far the most important cross-Channel line, with nearly one million passengers passing through the ferry port annually. 


Goods traffic shows resilience against a difficult background 

Goods traffic, for its part, decreased by 4.80% in 2011 (year on year), which was mainly due to a difficult business environment in terms of cross-Channel relations with the UK. 

In 2011, PNA experienced a drop of close to 6.15% in cross-Channel trade volumes: undoubtedly, it has been a difficult period for cross-Channel activity due to the continued weakness of the pound sterling against the euro, made worse by vigorous competition among operators. This fierce competition is reflected in over-supply and particularly low prices, while the recession continues to affect much of Europe.

Within this difficult context, PNA ports — and, in particular, Caen-Ouistreham — have successfully maintained their overall position, with changes in activity closely mirroring those of the entire cross-Channel region. 

In 2012, an extension of the cross-Channel terminal at Ouistreham will be completed: this will optimise the port’s logistical organisation and, as a result, make it more attractive to operators.

Regarding conventional goods, traffic at PNA ports actually rose by 2.35% in 2011, with variations between individual ports and the types of traffic flows.

In Caen, an overall decrease in volume of 11.50% can be traced to lower cereals exports, down by approximately 150,000 tonnes (as compared to 2010, which had been an exceptional year). Some types of ’miscellaneous’ traffic, such as molasses (47,560 tonnes of which were trans-shipped via PNA ports in 2011), have become sustainable and can be considered mainstays of the port’s activity. 

In Cherbourg, traffic has more than doubled thanks to the bulk terminal, where over 140,000 tonnes of salt and coal transited in 2011, in total.



Looking forward to 2012

A range of factors point towards a positive trend characterizing levels of activity at PNA ports in the year 2012.

Firstly, the all-time records achieved in 2011 by Cherbourg for bulk-, cruise- and Ireland-related activities and traffic highlight the relevance of Cherbourg’s position within these niches.

Second, the stabilised cross-Channel market should also enable all the operators, and the cross-Channel lines that are in place, to regain healthier operating conditions.

Third, PNA, together with its six partners, is opening up new capacity that should benefit the port of Caen, thanks to the Caen-to-Le Havre inter-port container shuttle project.

Finally, the result of the call to tender for the offshore-energy project expected for the spring of 2012 will be a decisive factor for PNA ports. International engineering group Alstom has chosen Cherbourg as its key site for implementing its industrial development programme for offshore wind power, provided that the consortium wins 50% of the call to tender. In all, 500 jobs are at stake, as far as the port is concerned.

Confirming further the potential of the port in the field of renewable marine-based energy, energy group EDF has also chosen Cherbourg as its construction hub for assembling wind turbines ahead of their offshore installation. Additionally, Caen-Ouistreham will provide residential and maintenance facilities for the Courseulles-sur-Mer site.

PNA is set to pursue its development policy by furthering co-operation opportunities with the ports in the river Seine area and with those located in the South of both Ireland and England.

PNA also intends to continue with its ambitious investment programme, which includes a €40m investment in the launch of works for the extension and development of Cherbourg’s 380-metre-long Quai des Flamands. The completion of the modernisation of PNA’s port works will cost €1.7m. PNA will also invest €500,000 in the opening of new access points to the Mielles platform at Cherbourg.

PNA ports represent about 4,000 jobs — of which about 2,000 are direct jobs, 1,800 are indirect jobs, and 200 are jobs that will be generated — and about €180m of added value across the region of Basse-Normandie.

About PNA

The ports of Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg are owned and run by Ports Normands Associés, known in English as the Ports of Normandy Authority (PNA). PNA’s head office is in Caen.

The historic region of Normandy is currently made up of two separate regions: Lower Normandy (Basse-Normandie, in French) and Upper Normandy (Haute-Normandie). The ports of Caen-Ouistreham and Cherbourg are located on the north-west coast of France and face southern England, on the other side of the English Channel. They belong to the western, maritime part of Basse-Normandie.

For further information, please go to:
www.pna-ports.fr 

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  Vincent Joly Senior Trade Advisor   T: + 3589 7599 4513 - GSM: + 358 50 543 6809 vincent.joly@businessfrance.fr    Business France Yrjönkatu 36, 00 100 Helsinki Finland www.businessfrance.fr     AND   Sophie Richard Trade Development Advisor T: + 3589 7599 4519 sophie.richard@businessfrance.fr   Business France Yrjönkatu 36, 00 100 Helsinki Finland www.businessfrance.fr  

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