Boccard, a family-owned group from Lyon specializing in the design and production of industrial facilities was involved during the 1970s in the construction of the Fos-sur-Mer plants and those around the Étang de Berre. For its 100th anniversary in 2018, Boccard is making a strong comeback in the area by opening a 900 m2 factory in Martigues for the prefabrication of assembly parts with new jobs set to be created. These new ambitions in the Oil & Gas sector are the result of the growth in activity in the industrial and port area and the favorable outlooks for the Piicto and La Mède platforms and of the Berre Petrochemical Cluster currently in the process of being marketed as part of the Provence Industry’Nov call for expressions of interest.
Shell, Atochem and Sollac (SOLMER) at Fos-sur-Mer all contributed to Boccard’s success in the 1970s. After diversifying and internationalizing its activities to become a turnkey contractor, this family group, today a century old, is now focusing in 2018 on the renaissance of Fos.
Boccard is involved in numerous industrial projects in Provence
“We have opened a 900 m² factory in Martigues, with two overhead traveling cranes of 2 and 5 metric tons, to make a major comeback in the Oil & Gas segment, a promising market. We want to boost our visibility once again among the key accounts we deal with internationally, and to be present on the Naphtachimie site where Petroineos, Kem One, April, Messer and Oxo Chimie are based. Quechen Silicon Chemical recently announced the construction of a silica production plant. We aim to position ourselves for the assembly of equipment, including prefabrication and assembly”, announced Richard Lechien, head of the Oil & Gas Europe South Business Unit.
Without simply sitting back and waiting for tenders to be announced, Boccard is taking numerous initiatives. From August to late October, the company was involved in the stoppage of Kem One with Fosselev. “We deployed around sixty people for all of the metal work”, explained Richard Lechien. The company was also involved at Esso, Total handling the project for the Adblue additive alongside Actemium.
“Provence Promotion helps us to strengthen our teams”
Boccard already has 49 employees in Martigues. In view of the growth in business, the company plans to recruit 12 people in 2019: Engineering project leaders, site foremen, team leaders, pipe fitters, assemblers, experienced mechanics, pipework or mechanical preparation staff. “Provence Promotion helps us to strengthen our teams thanks to their close cooperation, by putting us in touch with training centers and technical establishments. They also assist our staff with their professional mobility matters by helping our employees from Dunkirk to find accommodation when they arrive in Provence”, adds Richard Lechien.
His ambitions extend across the Mediterranean, with the gas and oil industry in North Africa and along the West African coast firmly in his sights. “Marseille-Provence airport enables us to carry out prospection in these markets” explained the manager of the Oil & Gas unit.
Historically based at the Arcelor Mittal company village for the industrial maintenance activities, Boccard moved in 1996 to the La Feuillane site, where the company has a factory dedicated to mechanical maintenance and to metalworking for the STEEL part. In all, BOCCARD employs a total of 120 people in the south, where it works with Sanofi chemicals and CEA Cadarache on the Jules Horowitz Reactor. And that’s not all! In addition to Oil & Gas, the metal industries, the nuclear industry and energy, Boccard is also involved in the processing industries (agri-food, pharmaceuticals, etc.) particularly with Heinekein, or Spi Pharma in Marseille. For this group employing 3500 staff worldwide, Provence offers fertile ground for the diversification of its activities.