WINDPOWERED SHIPPING : Major evolution of the project, crowdfunding and partnerships, the NEOLINE project is under full sail.
With the innovative Solid Sail propulsion system from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, an ongoing crowdfunding and new partnerships, the Nantes-based responsible and low-carbon shipping company NEOLINE is one step closer to launching its first Neoliner, a 136-meter main sail-powered merchant ship. NEOLINE, which is participating to the ChangeNOW Summit 2022 with the hub Wind for Goods on May 19, 20 and 21 in Paris, provides an update on the project:
NEOLINE chooses the “Solid Sail” solution from Chantiers de l’Atlantique
This is a major evolution of the project. After technical studies carried out by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Neopolia, Mauric and D-Ice, the ship’s rigging will consist of 2 “Solid Sail” folding rigging systems, including 2 masts of 76 m high, each equipped with the “Solid Sail” sail technology of 1,100 m² and a flexible jib of 400 m², for a total sail area of 3,000 m².
The calculations obtained show that the “Solid Sail” rig, with its rigid sails, will provide equivalent or even better performance than the 4,200 m² of flexible sails initially planned for the duplex rig, thanks to the thinness and vertical elongation of the structure, as well as the reduction of the masking effect of the sails. The expected lifetime of the sail is 25 years, which will reduce maintenance costs compared to soft sails. The production and installation of this innovative rigging by Chantiers de l’Atlantique on the hull of the Neoliner will boost the local economy and occupy many trades at different stages (boiler making, work at height, lifting, hydraulics…).
“The expertise of our technical partners and local players, combined with Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s Research and Development, give the project a synergy of skills, which made this choice possible. The continuous work on the general design of the ship over the last few months by Mauric, the Neoliner’s architect, has enabled the architecture to be adapted to this new rig, in order to ensure its integration on board. The studies have confirmed the technical feasibility of the major evolution of the rig, both from a structural and stability point of view and in terms of the general organization of the ship” explains Jean ZANUTTINI, President of NEOLINE.
A crowdfunding campaign active until June 12
Launched in January 2022, the crowdfunding campaign continues until June 12, 2022 on the WiSEED platform. € 1million are sought for this collection, which is part of a fundraising of € 3.3million from financial investors. € 700 000 have already been raised and more than 800 people have already mobilized.
Evolution in the shareholding of NEOLINE Développement
For strategic reasons, the Sogestran group has decided to withdraw from NEOLINE’s shareholding and has provided transitional financial support for the integration of a new reference partner. NEOLINE has then approached another shipowner with whom discussions are in progress. An L.O.I. has been signed allowing the project to continue towards the construction of its first Neoliner.
Adaptations on the construction side, due to the international context
International trade, especially the raw materials market, has been impacted by the geopolitical situation and the war in Ukraine since the beginning of March and before that, by the global pandemic since 2019. In order to create the conditions for the necessary contractual negotiations, the beginning of the construction has been postponed to the fall of 2022.
“The project is adapting to a rapidly changing world and, although the financial and industrial closing is taking longer than initially planned, its relevance is being strengthened and we are still aiming for commissioning by 2024/2025,” explains Jean ZANUTTINI.
NEOLINE, a concrete and innovative response to the climate emergency
«“For the past 10 years, NEOLINE has participated, along with other players in the industry, in opening up the way for wind-powered transport. Today, the shippers are seizing the subject, it is a very strong progress: the companies are organized today in coalition on a larger scale, to support the fast emergence of solutions of transport with sailing propulsion, adapted to their logistic needs” underlines Michel PÉRY, President of the supervisory board NEOLINE.
The transatlantic pilot line, which will serve Saint-Nazaire, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Baltimore and Halifax, will save 80 to 90% of fuel compared to a ship of equivalent size. NEOLINE has already signed firm transport commitments with customers such as Renault Group, the Groupe Beneteau, Manitou Group, Hennessy, Michelin, Clarins, Longchamp and Rémy Cointreau.
“The latest IPCC report reminds everyone of the urgent need to act quickly and NEOLINE is a great transition opportunity for shippers who lack alternative and concrete technical solutions today”, concludes the President.