Start-up shipping company Neoline has retained fellow French company Neopolia SAS to build its first sail-powered ro-ros, for deep sea operation across the Atlantic
Neoline, formed in 2015, is backed by leading French industrial companies, such as Renault, Bénéteau and Manitou. Last year it issued an international call for offers to build two sail-powered ro-ro freighters, with construction to begin before the end of 2019 and vessel commissioning slated for the end of 2021.
No less than 15 shipyards participated in the tender. During this week’s La Mer XXL Fair in Nantes, Neoline announced that the winner of the tender is Neopolia SAS, a consortium of 235 companies based, like Neoline, in the Pays de la Loire. The ships will be built in St Nazaire, where the River Loire drains into the sea at St Nazaire, the seaport of Nantes-St Nazaire.
Neoline plans to introduce the first liner service linking St Nazaire with the USEC and the French overseas territory of Sainte-Pierre-et-Miquelon, just south of Canada’s Newfoundland province.
The 136m long vessels will have an intake of 478 cars. Total sail area is 4,200 m2, supported by 42,000 kW of auxillary diesel-electric propulsion. Service speed is just 11 knots, offset by an 80-90% reduction in fuel consumption and corresponding carbon footprint.
“Neopolia has been a strong partner and a support since Neoline was created in 2015 and has accompanied us at every step," said said Michel Pery, President of Neoline. "Following the international call for tenders, we objectively considered that the offer brought by Neopolia and its members is the best technically and economically."