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First plate cutting: the Neoliner enters active construction phase  

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Tuzla, November 8, 2023 – Neoline Armateur reaches a historic milestone with the start of the construction of its very first sailing ro-ro vessel  , marked by the official cutting of its first sheet metal, “Steel Cutting”, a year and a half before the ship is due to enter into service in June 2025.  

  • The Construction of the Neoliner begins with the “steel cutting” on November 8, 2023 at RMK Marine’s Tuzla shipyard in Turkey.  
  • The Neoliner, a 136m sail-powered ro-ro cargo ship will operate a transatlantic rotation between the ports of Saint-Nazaire, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Baltimore and Halifax, departing every month from 2025.  

A project launched 12 years ago

(©NEOLINE/MAURIC)

“we are entering an exciting period which will see the ship being built day by day. 

The construction of this 136 m ro-ro vessel, the fruit of 12 years of commitment and passion, is finally coming to fruition.

A wide range of technical and financial partners have supported Neoline, all united by the same vision : to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% compared to conventional vessels of similar size, thanks to reduced energy requirements and the primary use of vellic propulsion. 

The Construction of the vessel has been awarded to the Turkish shipyard RMK Marine, accompanied by a consortium of French partners including Chantiers de l’Atlantique, MAURIC, D-ICE Engineering, Fouré Lagadec, Engie Axima and Bio-sea UV.   

Jean ZANUTTINI, president of NEOLINE, comments: :  

“This is an important day for all the NEOLINE team members and all our partners, as we are witnessing the long-awaited concrete start of the construction of the first Neoliner.  After several months of detailed studies carried out in full cooperation between the teams from RMK Marine, Mauric, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Bureau Veritas, we are entering an exciting period which will see the ship being built day by day. 

The teams at RMK Marine and all their partners have our full confidence in building the Neoliner, which will be one of the largest sailing merchant ships in history.  The NEOLINE Développement technical team, supported by Schulte Marine Concept, will be monitoring the construction in real time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this project: thanks to you !

An idea that seemed crazy at the outset will come to life in the coming months. We are very proud to contribute with this project to the energy transition of the shipping sector and to design a desirable future for the next generations, as it is more than urgent to accelerate the change towards more respect for the environment.”  

The construction of the ship will be followed by key milestones, such as the laying of the first block in the first half of 2024, the launch of the ship scheduled for the end of 2024, and the commissioning in June 2025, which will be followed by the opening of the new transatlantic line between St-Nazaire and the American East Coast (Halifax/Baltimore), including two calls at St-Pierre et Miquelon. 

The Neoliner, an innovative, environmentally-friendly ro-ro vessel.   

Neoline is working to drastically reduce the emissions and environmental impact of  shipping with its innovative Neoliner technology, by bringing together all the players who share its commitment to a more environmentally-friendly maritime future.   

 The Neoliner is a 136-meter-long ro-ro vessel. It is equipped by innovative technological features, such as its two 76-meter folding carbon SOLIDSAIL masts, with a 3000 sqm sail area , developed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, as well as retractable anti-drift plans and a particularly efficient weather routing system. This equipment, coupled with a speed reduction to 11 knots (versus 15 knots on a conventionally-propelled vessel), should ensure that the main propulsion is by sail, saving up 80% to 90% of fuel (and associated emissions).  

Sailing cargo ships to decarbonize supply chains  

 A number of French industry stakeholders have already joined the adventure and signed up with NEOLINE to commit their freight to this new line between France and Northern America. This shipping line is open to all shippers looking for a more responsible, efficient and sustainable solution for their transatlantic supply chains.   

It has a loading capacity of 1,200 linear meters (2.8m wide), or 265 20′ containers, for a maximum cargo weight of 5,300 tonnes.  

 On the passenger side, the Neoliner can also accommodate 12 people in six double cabins, in addition to the 13 crew members.  

About RMK Marine

RMK MARINE is one of the leading companies in the Turkish naval industry. It carries out high-tech projects to international standards.

RMK MARINE offers turnkey ready made ? solutions for the production of superyachts, warships and merchant ships for national and international markets, which are its main areas of activity.

Its sales and expertise have grown steadily since 1997, when the company joined Turkey’s largest industrial and services group : Koç Holding.   

A propos de Neoline

NEOLINE Développement was founded in 2015 by a group of merchant marine professionals, all convinced of the need for a transition to a more responsible shipping.

Neoline Développement wanted to commit into promoting energy sobriety in shipping by developing new transport services. This is materialized by the desire to operate innovative vessels equipped with a main wind propulsion system , with the aim of significantly minimizing emissions.

Owned up to 75% by the holding company of the founding shareholders, NEOLINE & Associés, this initiative is supported by the Pays de la Loire Region and the BPI.    

Neoline Développement is supported by Atlanpole, and finally the project benefits from the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique label.   

NEOLINE Armateur :  

Created in 2021 by NEOLINE Développement, NEOLINE Armateur is the shipowning company that will finance and operate the first NEOLINER vessel, a ro-ro cargo ship mainly powered by wind , on the transatlantic pilot line between Saint-Nazaire, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Baltimore and Halifax, departing every month from 2025. French flagship industries such as Renault Group, Groupe Beneteau, Manitou Group, Michelin, Jas Hennessy & Co, Clarins, Longchamp, Rémy Cointreau and La Fournée Dorée are among the first customers, pioneering this new France – Northern America route.    

NEOLINE Armateur is owned by CMA CGM, ADEME Investissement, NEOLINE Développement, Corsica Ferries and Louis Hardy SAS.    

The Bank financing of the vessel is provided by CIC, along with CIC Ouest, BPGO and Banque Palatine. The project also benefits from a Strategic Projects Guarantee via BPIFrance, as well as additional financing from the Banque des Territoires des Pays de la Loire and the Pays de la Loire Region.   

 EDF is also a partner in the project and it will provide post-commissioning financing through a specific CEE (Certificats d’Economies d’Energie) agreement. 

Press contact

Kit media, visuels et vidéo du Neoliner : https://www.neoline.eu/kit-media-neoline/

Press contact Blandine RUESCH, Head of communication : b.ruesch@neoline.eu / 00 33 7 50 81 90 91