Saint-Nazaire is a commune in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France, in traditional Brittany. The town has a major harbour on the right bank of the Loire River estuary, near the Atlantic Ocean. Saint-Nazaire has a long tradition of fishing and shipbuilding. The economy of the city is founded on the activity of the port, including export of manufactured goods and on services.
The local economy is diversified with the major industries including:
• Shipyard, Chantiers de l'Atlantique is one of the world leaders in cruise ship building. Purchased by Aker Yards, the Cunard Line's new flagship, RMS Queen Mary 2, was built in Saint-Nazaire. • Airbus – Saint-Nazaire is one of the European centers of Airbus, responsible for the fitting out of aircraft fuselage sections. Originally a factory built for SNCASO, it is located at Penhoët, immediate north of the sites of Chantiers de l'Atlantique. An additional facility was built in Gron in 1980. For the Airbus A380, the Airbus Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ship Ville de Bordeaux brings fuselage sections from Hamburg, (Germany) for larger, assembled sections, some of which include the nose. The ship then unloads these sections plus wings from Filton, Bristol and Broughton in North Wales at Bordeaux. From there, the A380 parts are transported by barge to Langon, Gironde, and by oversize road convoys to the assembly hall in Toulouse. New wider roads, canal systems and barges were developed to deliver the A380 parts. After assembly, the aircraft are flown to Hamburg, XFW to be furnished and painted. • Aeronautical engineering – Famat, a joint-venture company between Snecma and General Electric, has a factory in Saint-Nazaire. Employing approximately 450 people, Famat specialises in the manufacture of structural elements for turbojets. • Mechanical engineering – SEMT Pielstick, a manufacturer of diesel engines intended for naval and railway applications and for electrical production. Now part of MAN B&W Diesel. • Port – Saint-Nazaire is the primary French port on the Atlantic coast is managed by the Port Authority of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire. The port terminal handles high volumes of food products, and methane, and oil company Elf de Donges and many other industries.
Saint-Nazaire has a population of over 67,900 people. Saint-Nazaire also forms part of the wider Saint-Nazaire metropolitan area which has a population of over 196,596 people.