With the start of work on the first ship at the RMK Marine shipyard in Turkey, NEOLINE, a French company, is putting its vision of building a contemporary sailing cargo ship into action.
Neoliner, a 136-meter-long roll-on-roll-off yacht, will have 3,000 square meters of sail area and two folding “Solid Sail Rig System” carbon fiber masts.
Delivery of the ship is anticipated for 2025.
Neoline was founded in 2015 to be the first ship owner in the world specializing in contemporary Ro-Ro freight ships that are primarily propelled by wind and sails.
The business plans to build two ships to travel between Saint-Nazaire, France, and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon in Newfoundland, Baltimore, Maryland, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The first vessel is now being built at RMK Marine after earlier attempts were unsuccessful. NEOLINE and shipbuilder Neopolia Mobility, based in Loire, France, previously agreed to an LOI for the first ship.
The French shipyard Chantiers De l’Atlantique created and produced the Solid Sail Rig System. The initial proposal called for 4,200 m2 of rigid sails; however, the two carbon fiber masts will each be 76 meters tall and have 3,000 m2 instead.
Neoliner will be able to transport 6300 tons of freight, the same as 321 automobiles, 265 20-foot containers, or 125 40-foot containers.
After NEOLINE reached its fundraising objective of collecting 60 million euros from public and commercial partners, the first vessel’s construction began. CMA CGM, a major French shipping company, was one of the investors.
“The CMA CGM Group, which aims to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050, has been fully involved for many years in developing projects and prototypes to accelerate the decarbonization of the maritime sector,” said Emilie Espanet, Head of the CMA CGM Fund for Energies.
“Given the importance of the challenges, we are convinced of the need to explore all options. Several technologies will have to coexist to build the decarbonized propulsion solutions of tomorrow.”
“This is why the CMA CGM Group, thanks to its €1.5 billion Fund for Energies, wanted to become a partner of NEOLINE, whose RORO sailing transport project seems to us to be extremely promising,” Espanet concluded.
The advanced routing, navigation, piloting, and monitoring technologies for the wind propulsion system will be provided by D-ICE Engineering.
“Together, we have succeeded in carrying out a project which, in many respects, could initially seem utopian,” said Neoline Armateurs CEO Jean Zanuttini.
But, in a context that daily reminds us that the fight against climate change is the challenge of this century, wind propulsion for commercial ships is becoming more and more of a pragmatic solution to an increasingly complex energy issue,” Zanuttini remarked.