France-based Neoline has selected a shipyard to construct to construct its first two sail-powered roll-on/roll-off cargo ships to operate between France and United States as soon as 2021.
Neoline announced this week it has selected Loire, France-based Neopolina for the construction of the ships.
Neoline was established in 2015 with the intention of the becoming the world’s first shipowner specializing in modern sailing cargo ships. The company has partnered with French automaker Renault to develop the ships, which will be 136-meter long and equipped with 4,200 square meters of sail area.
The ships will initially operate on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, France with the U.S. East Coast and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland.
“Neopolia has been a strong partner and a support since Neoline was created in 2015, and has accompanied us at every step,” said Michel Pery, President of Neoline. “However, this decision follows an international call for tenders, at the end of which we objectively considered that the offer brought by Neopolia and its members is the best technically and economically. Their ability to listen to the shipowner’s needs has enabled them to bring appropriate technical proposals, as well as an organisation able to respond to the constraints of an innovative project like Neoline.”
“In addition, we are very pleased to have been able to select the construction offer of a local player, because we are convinced that sailing propulsion is a new sector of excellence for French shipbuilding, with strong development potential,” Pery added.