CNES awards €200-million contract for Ariane 6 ELA 4 launch complex to Eclair6
The Ariane 6 programme, approved at the Ministerial Council meeting of the European Space Agency (ESA) on 2 December 2014, aims to reduce the cost of space launch by half compared to Ariane 5 and thus enable Europe to remain number one in the commercial launch services market. Tasked with developing the ground facilities for this programme at the Guiana Space Centre, CNES is in charge of building the new ELA 4 launch complex for Ariane 6. The agency thus issued a European invitation to tender last February for the construction of the ELA 4 infrastructures, for which it has now awarded the contract to the Eclair6 consortium led by Eiffage Génie Civil.
The scope of the work comprises all ELA 4 structures, including the launch pad and its two flame trenches, the 6,000-tonne, 90-metre-high mobile service gantry and the BAL launcher assembly building. This contract will offer significant employment and integration opportunities for Guianese youngsters and several local subcontractors and suppliers of materials and equipment will be closely involved in construction work, which will be employing 50,000 cubic metres of concrete, 7,000 tonnes of reinforcement, 400,000 cubic metres of earth and 7,500 tonnes of structural steel.
Work under the contract signed today in Paris by CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Eiffage Chairman & CEO Benoît de Ruffray, worth a total of €200 million, will begin immediately. Construction is scheduled for completion in October 2018, with the first Ariane 6 launch slated for late 2020. Initial earthwork for the new Ariane 6 ELA 4 launch complex at the Guiana Space Centre was completed at the end of May, more than a month ahead of schedule, by a consortium led by Eiffage Génie Civil and Eiffage Route.