Didier Codorniou: “With offshore wind power, we will produce 30 to 40% of the energy in Occitania”

Didier Codorniou: “With offshore wind power, we will produce 30 to 40% of the energy in Occitania”

The First Vice-President of the region prioritizes the energy transition, the defense of fishing and offshore wind power. Midi Libre – MICHAEL ESDOURRUBAILH

Didier Codorniou, the first vice-president of the region, president of the maritime parliament and mayor of Gruissan, discusses the many maritime issues: the energy transition as well as the sectors in difficulty.

The region invested 29M€ in the new dredge that arrived in Sète on Tuesday, with what ambition ?

In 2025, it will run on hydrogen, which is unique in the world: with such technology, there was the risk of falling a little behind, so we are just waiting for the authorizations. But it works for dredging actions in our ports to maintain the depth and allow large boats to enter and exit. With the problems of global warming and accelerating erosion, beaches also need to replenish sand, especially in Hérault and the P-O, where we have municipalities in difficulty.

The regional ports of Sète-Frontignan and Port-La-Nouvelle are undergoing major energy transformation.

The ecological transition of ports is a flagship measure announced by President Delga. In Sète, we have completed the electrification of the docks, which makes it possible to combat pollution from large ships in terms of sulfur particles and CO2. The heavy quay and the dikes are also completed at Port-la-Nouvelle where the region has invested 230 M€.

You support offshore wind power, where are the two experimental farm projects off the coast of Aude and the P-O ?< /p>

There is a small delay of six months on the pilot farms which will see the light of day at the end of 2024 or beginning of 2025. But three floats are being built in Port-la-Nouvelle, these are very impressive. Then, in June, the winner will be designated for commercial farms for 2031-2032.

The national commission for public debate launched until the end of April, “the sea in debate”, which you support in Occitanie, what comes out of it ?

The discussions concern the coastline or biodiversity, but the debate is the wind turbines to know if they will be close to the shore. Some say: "in Saint-Nazaire, we see them from the edge" but there, they are 12 km away, we will be 20 km away, we can guess them slightly. And we will be on floating, not on anchored floats, so with less impact.

Industrial farms will initially represent 10% of Occitanie's energy, our ambition is the energy mix between nuclear, wind and the manufacture of green hydrogen. Some say it’s expensive, but when we then move to 500 MW, we will produce 30 to 40% of Occitanie’s energy.

President of the rugby federation ? “I think about it, I consult, I think”

Will ex international Didier Codorniou run for president of the French Rugby Federation in the fall ? He responds to Midi Libre.

"I'm thinking about it, I'm deep in thought, I consult, I reflect and I take the time not to mix everything up, before making my decision. To do this, I need to fully understand the issues. I am passionate about rugby, it is my culture, my life, I have always been influenced by this sport. My professional and political experience, my knowledge of rugby allows me to think about planning ahead. But for the moment this is not relevant. At the federation, I am in the committee of former internationals and I enjoy it a lot."

But in case everything breaks loose, will he give up his mandates ?

"Everything is compatible, I am able to carry out several responsibilities, which I do today. I am First Vice-President of the Region, President of the Parliament of the Sea, Mayor of Gruissan. The pace is frantic, but it suits my temperament and there is always a temporality. What is important on all these subjects is the teams that support me, I have always played as a team in everything I do.

This reflection is therefore also collective, he replies. There are priorities: to complete my mandates with an obligation of support and results with regard to my position as vice-president with Carole Delga. And then there is the local priority, my town, Gruissan, for the 22 years that I have been mayor. I am 66 years old, in great physical shape. In Gruissan I am preparing to accompany my team for the next elections."

Fishing is going through an unprecedented crisis, how to help it ?

The “fishing” will be signed at the end of June with the government. The challenge is sustainable fishing with an evolution of weapons and better knowledge of species.

We are also going to set up a cooperative armament with the fishermen who agree to enter and think about how, tomorrow, when there will be less activity, we can direct them towards offshore wind power to bring a additional source of income: the floats will bring a fishery life that we would not suspect, they will also be able to bring professionals for maintenance etc.

Why launch another sector contract with the nautical industries ?

With the vice-president of the Federation of Nautical Industries, Colette Certoux, we will sign this contract on April 3 in La Grande-Motte: the idea is there. attractiveness of the professions because the sector needs hands. We need to encourage vocations, young people are interested in careers in the blue economy, ironwork, engineering, etc.

Note also that the rectorate will set up the maritime academy, a structure which will rely on existing campuses, the university, high schools and mobilize young people in these professions where it lack of labor.

The Parliament of the Sea celebrated its tenth anniversary, what are your priorities from now on ?

The feminization of blue economy professions is an absolute priority. For example, we are mobilizing our commercial ports to see how we can recruit crane operators, we have around ten candidates whereas we had none until now.

The parliament also has other appointments such as the accessibility of marinas and coastal sports practices at the disability level, the inventory of slipways privatized water, because there is less space for people and the important meeting of the first national meetings on the law of the sea, on October 17 in Montpellier, with Sos Méditerranée.

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