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Granite® HDXtreme gives La Rochelle marine hangar a new look and new life

Harbours are an extreme environment for any building material. But when the building site is located on a stopover pier in the middle of the harbour, a very special material is required to withstand the corrosive marine atmosphere. It’s exactly the type of place ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products’ Granite® HDXtreme is designed for. When the Port of La Rochelle decided to renovate the existing hangar H12 on the pier, Granite® HDXtreme was the logical choice for the new roofing and cladding. The high-quality Nerba 6.25.1085B facade and Nertoit 3.45.1000T roof profiles were developed by SPO (Société Profilage Ouest) and installed by ProAcier. The refurbished hangar is now a beacon in the harbour and a valuable asset for the port authority.

Just 20 metres from the sea, the renovated hangar H12 is now a beacon in La Rochelle harbour. [Copyright: ProAcier]

“The client’s main objective was to find a material with a guarantee of at least 10 years in this maritime climate,” explains Pierre-Matthieu Rivollier, Purchasing Manager for SPO. “We proposed Granite® HDXtreme due to the location. A key decision factor for the client was the 75 µm paint coating.” 

“When SPO presented Granite® HDXtreme to us, we were won over by the quality and durability of this organic coated steel,” notes Maud Thomelet, Land and Real Estate Manager for the La Rochelle Port Authority. “It is ideal for a building that is located just 20 metres from the sea.” 

The existing hangar H12 on the stopover pier was very damaged by time and by the C5 marine environment, requiring major work. Maud Thomelet explains: “The building had an asbestos roof which had to be removed by a specialist company. The building’s frame also needed to be reinforced before the new roofing and cladding from SPO could be installed.”

Major renovations were required to hangar H12 before the Granite® HDXtreme panels were installed. [Copyright: ProAcier]

Colour challenge accepted!

The colours were chosen by the new tenant for H12 – a company which is renting the space to store soybean meal, flour, and pellets which are used in animal feed. “In addition to pure white (G910), the client specified anthracite grey (G716) for the long sides of the hangar. The gable ends are clad in zinc yellow (RAL 1018) and the grey.” 

Yellow and black are associated with the city of La Rochelle – and particularly with the local rugby team, winner of the European Cup in 2022 and 2023,” notes Pierre-Matthieu Rivollier. “The yellow is not a standard Granite® HDXtreme colour, so ArcelorMittal had to colour-match it, in order to be able to provide the exact shade required.”

ArcelorMittal colour-matched the yellow to create a unique harbour landmark. [Copyright: ProAcier]

Advice and support at every stage

Another key factor for SPO is the support that ArcelorMittal provides. “Whenever we have a question we ask our client support contact at ArcelorMittal and we always get a prompt answer,” says Pierre-Matthieu Rivollier. “Whether we need fire behaviour information, declarations of performance, or advice on material selection, we always get a fast answer from the ArcelorMittal team. That doesn’t always happen with other suppliers.”

SPO’s cladding and roofing solutions utilise Granite® HDXtreme from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. [Copyright: ProAcier]

Hangar H12 is now rented to a business which uses the space to store ingredients for animal feed. [Copyright: ProAcier]

Hangar H12 is located on a stopover pier between La Rochelle and Ile de Ré on France’s Atlantic coast. [Copyright: netsign33 /, and Philippe Vandenameele]

The hangar’s renovation has returned a valuable asset to use for the port authority. [Image by courtesy of UMLR, the La Rochelle Maritime Association]

Proven solution in marine environments

Would the Port of La Rochelle use Granite® HDXtreme again? “We are very satisfied with the quality of Granite® HDXtreme,” says Maud Thomelet. “We will definitely specify it again in future renovations on sites in saline environments.” 

For SPO there is no doubt either. “This is not the first time we have used Granite® HDXtreme in a marine location,” notes Pierre-Matthieu Rivollier. “We also provide roofing and cladding solutions for new-builds and renovations in France’s overseas territories. Many of these buildings are located on islands. Granite® HDXtreme is a proven solution for us.”

Pierre-Matthieu Rivollier, Purchasing Manager for SPO [Copyright: SPO]

SPO (Société Profilage Ouest) is a French manufacturer of roofing and facade systems for new-build and renovation projects. The company’s expertise includes pre- and post-painting, cold profiling, and folding of steel. This enables them to produce solutions in a wide choice of shapes, volumes, and colours. SPO is a part of the Acoma Group. 

More info:

Related links

SPO's website
Nerba 6.25.1085B facade profiles
Nertoit 3.45.1000T roof profiles
Groupe Acoma's website
Port of La Rochelle
More info on Granite® HDXtreme
Contact ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products
Steel for construction at