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Press release
SPIE Sud-Est helps convert the former Saint-Mandrier naval air base into a gigantic shipyard

With the opening of its IMS 700 site, IMS Shipyard – which has been a major player in the retrofitting and maintenance of big yachts for 25 years – will become the largest yacht repair shipyard on the Mediterranean coast. Offering a comprehensive range of service and covering a total area of 130,000 sq. m, this shipyard – a subsidiary of Couach – will be able to accommodate up to a hundred 20- to 80-metre-long yachts at a time.

Conversion of the naval air base installations:

The former runway and car parking areas, representing a landside area of 60,000 sq. m, will provide dry-dock facilities for about 50 vessels which will be lifted and lowered by an elevator with a capacity of 600 tonnes.

The five existing sheds formerly used to house naval aircraft will also be used. These buildings, with area of 3,600 sq. m each and a ceiling height of 15 metres, will be adapted to accommodate yachts for work such as repainting.

A marine area is being developed adjacent to the old base, with fixed and floating pontoons, basin and breakwater. It will provide a 50,000 sq. m wet dock area for work on 15 yachts.

Teams from our Côte d'Azur department have been helping IMS throughout the project

Backed by its multitechnical experience of port operations, the Côte d’Azur department has been assisting IMS with this project and is now installing all the yard’s power network and connection equipment including:

  • 3 distribution substations
  • 60 kilometres of power distribution cables (high, very-high and low voltage)
  • 55 power supply terminals with 250-A connectors enabling remote reading
  • Decorative and functional lighting of the yard with eight 40,000-lumen underwater lights
  • Site video surveillance
  • WiFi and telephone equipment in collaboration with SPIE Communications
  • Fire safety system in sheds

The project’s background

Created in 1916, the Saint-Mandrier naval air base catered for seaplanes and then helicopters carried on French naval vessels. When it was closed in 2003, its fleets were transferred to the Hyères naval air base.

Since then, the site which is ideally situated in Toulon harbour area, has been awaiting renovation.

In response to increasing demand from the growing yachting sector, the IMS shipyard, currently located on the other side of the peninsula, drew up plans to develop a new site in the area occupied by the former base.
The company was granted a 30-year lease to use the land which belongs to the French Ministry of Defence.


SPIE Sud-Est

Sébastien Vincentelli

Nicolas Pion