The adventure of the ambitious sail freighter project wanted by Neoline is gathering strength.
The order for a first vessel has in fact just been placed with Neopolia mobility, a company resulting from the Neopolia industrial grouping in the Loire region, following a call for tenders with around ten international builders.
This is confirmation since the first letter of intent, signed in 2019, was not successful.
The goal is to build a 136 m long freight ship carrying up to 11,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 280 containers or 500 cars.
The freighter, equipped with folding masts, will navigate mainly thanks to the force of the wind.
A diesel engine and a battery pack will be used only for port maneuvers and on-board electricity.
"The project is now in the financial closing phase with the objective of starting construction this summer for commissioning in the first half of 2024", indicates Neoline.
From Saint-Nazaire to Baltimore
The first commercial line would connect Saint-Nazaire to Baltimore (United States) via Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and Halifax (Canada).
Two round trips per month are envisaged.
Renault (for delivering cars), Manitou (for handling equipment), and Bénéteau (for boats) have already shown their great interest as customers.
The sails would reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of an ocean crossing by 90%.
The Neopolia network brings together and provides work for 240 companies, mainly in Pays-de-la-Loire.
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