French yard Neopolia has been initially selected for the construction of two sail-powered cargo vessels of a new type by customer Neoline. The decision follows the international call for tenders launched by Neoline to some 15 shipyards in 2018. Neoline has also revealed the signing of a letter of intent with Neopolia for the construction of the vessels.
Construction of the first 136m ship is scheduled to start in Saint-Nazaire at the end of 2019 while the launching is planned for the end of 2021. With the support of key players such as Groupe Renault, Manitou Group and Groupe Beneteau, Neoline is developing a new transport service based on the operation of the new type of sail-powered RoRo vessels, saving 80% to 90% of fuel consumption compared to conventional ships with a huge cut in exhaust emissions. Expected to commence sailings in 2021, the first service will connect Saint-Nazaire to the American east coast and the French islands of Saint-Pierre & Miquelon off Canada. Neoline will now work on obtaining the necessary financing to proceed with the project.