The Atlantic Port Authority of Nantes-Saint Nazaire (Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire) was created in 1965 as a state-owned corporation under France’s Ministry of Transport, Public Works, and Housing. The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire is responsible for all development, improvements, operations, maintenance, and policing of the port and for the management of port property.
The facilities at Saint Nazaire are used to handle imports of cattle feed and fruits and to export cereals, grains, meats, vegetable oils, and refrigerated goods. The also serve heavy cargoes and ship repairs. Three locks provide access to Port of Saint Nazaire and Penhoet docks. Large merchant vessels use the south lock. Services vessels and fishing or pleasure boats use the east lock. The largest vessels, particularly those going to and from the shipyards, use the 350-meter long Louis Joubert lock.
The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Atlantic Fruit Terminal at Saint Nazaire is located at the Darses Quay, which can accommodate vessels up to 185 meters long with 8.5 meter draught. The terminal contains covered storage of 10.6 thousand square meters and refrigerated warehouse of five thousand square meters.
The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Refrigerated Terminal, at the Commerce Quay in Saint Nazaire, has 48 thousand square meters of storage for negative-temperature cargoes. The quay can accommodate vessels to 150 meters.
In 1976, the Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire acquired a shore-based 400-ton jumbo derrick crane at Saint Nazaire that made it possible to handle 400-ton loads for 16 meters beyond quayside, thus creating the terminal for heavy parcels.
The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Chevire Industrial Zone in Nantes is France’s leading port facility for handling wholesale tropical sawn timber imports. The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire offers a full array of services to handle all tree species. The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Forest Products and General Cargo Terminal in Nantes receives tropical, resinous, and broad-leaved timber from Northern Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. About 40 companies have facilities in area reserved for trade and storage in the 300-hectare industrial zone. The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Upriver Chevire site contains two berths that can accommodate vessels to 225 meters, and the Downriver Chevire site has one berth that accommodates the same size vessels.
Taking place every two years, the Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Nantes Carrefour International du Bois (International Timber Forum) was founded in 1990 as a trade-only forum to promote timber in the Pays de la Loire Region. In 2004, almost 8900 visitors from 62 countries and 453 exhibitors attended the forum.
Cruise vessels arrive at the Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire near the city center at the Wilson Quay facility in Nantes. The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Wilson Quay Terminal can accommodate vessels to 185 meters (to 200 meters in special circumstances) long, and the d’Aiguillon Quay facility can accommodate 113-meter long cruise liners. The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s General Cargo and Container Terminal in Montoir can accommodate cruise liners over 185 meters long. The Wilson Quay facilities offers free shuttle service to the city center, and it is the departure point for tours of the area. The Wilson Quay is only eight kilometers from the Nantes Atlantique International Airport. Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire cruise operations are coordinated with other major French seaports on the Atlantic and English Channel through the French Atlantic Ports of Call Association.
The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Grain Terminal for Great Western France is located in the Nantes Roche-Maurice Terminal. The Sodistock Group manages the terminal, which has vertical storage capacity for 120 thousand tons of cargo and two berths that accommodate vessels to 225 meters long. The facility has a cereal- and grain-bagging unit that can process three thousand tons per day.
The Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s roll-on/roll-off terminal was opened in 2003 in Nantes. Consisting of a floating dock and gangway, it contains two docking points. The first is downriver from the landing stage to moor barges, and the second is upriver from the landing stage to receive sea-river ships.
Three private companies have facilities at the Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Sand Terminal in Nantes to process and sell sand. The sand is located off the mouth of the estuary, and the sand is collected at sites in La Pilier and Le Charpentier.
Groups can get guided tours of the facilities of the Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire. They can take a tour of the Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s Nantes-Chevire-Roche Maurice facilities, which takes about 1-1/2 hours, or they can choose to tour the Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire’s facilities at Saint Nazaire, Montoir, and Donges for about 2-1/2 hours.
In 2007, the Port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire handled over 34 million tons of cargo. Energy related cargoes included 9.8 million tons of crude oil, 6.6 million tons of refined petroleum products, 6.7 million tons of liquefied natural gas, and 1.5 million tons of coal. Non-energy related cargoes included 2.1 million tons of cattle feed, 1.6 million tons of containerized cargo, 1.1 million tons of grains, 690 thousand tons of roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and 112.8 thousand tons of timber.