The Ariane 6 programme, approved by European Space Agency (ESA) in 2014, aims to reduce the cost of space launch by half compared to Ariane 5. The French Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES) has been tasked with developing the programme’s ground facilities at the Guiana Space Centre. CNES is in charge of building the new ELA 4 launch complex for Ariane 6 and issued a European invitation to tender in February for the construction of the ELA 4 infrastructure.
The scope of work for the consortium led by Eiffage Génie Civil covers all ELA 4 structures, including the launch pad and its two flame trenches, the 6,000t, 90m-high mobile service gantry and the launcher assembly building.
This contract is intended to offer significant employment opportunities for Guianese youngsters and several local subcontractors and suppliers of materials and equipment will be closely involved in construction work. The project will use 50,000m3 of concrete, 7,000t of reinforcement, 400,000m3 of earthworks and 7,500t of structural steel.
Work under the contract will begin immediately. Construction is scheduled for completion in October 2018, with the first Ariane 6 launch slated for late 2020.
Initial earthworks for the complex were completed at the end of May, more than a month ahead of schedule, by a consortium led by Eiffage Génie Civil and Eiffage Route.