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Keel laying of first ‘Neoliner’

The keel of the first RoRo sailing ship for Neoline Armateur, the “Neoliner Origin”, has been laid at the Turkish shipyard RMK Marine.

The “Neoliner Origin”, a 136-meter-long wind-powered RoRo cargo ship, will operate between the ports of Saint-Nazaire, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Baltimore and Halifax. [ds_preview]

With the keel laying on 14 February 2024 at the RMK Marine shipyard in Tuzla (Turkey), the long-awaited assembly phase began after the first steel cut was made in November 2023. Neoline Armateur signed the contract with the shipyard in January 2023. More than twelve years of work went into the development of the ship. The launch is scheduled for December 2024, followed by commissioning in June 2025.

The 136-metre-long ship specializes in the transport of rolling and oversized cargo and is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% compared to conventional ships of the same size by reducing energy requirements and using wind as the main propulsion energy.

“The keel laying represents a very important step for us as the first ‘Neoliner Origin’ begins to exist and we see it taking shape day by day. Since November, the technical team of Neoline Armateur, supported by Schulte Marine Concept, has been following the cutting and the first assemblies of the panels,” explains the shipping company. RMK Marine worked with technical partners Mauric, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Bureau Veritas on the construction of the ship.

Neoliner gets foldable sails

“By completing this project and demonstrating the possibilities of modern sailing, we hope to contribute to the development of maritime transport that is more compatible with planetary boundaries,” says Jean Zanuttini, President of Neoline.

The “Neoliner Origin” will be equipped with almost 3000 m² of sail area and two 76 m folding solid sail carbon masts manufactured by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, as well as retractable anti-drift systems from Fouré Lagadec and a weather control system developed by D-ICE Engineering.

Neoliner Origin Visualisierung

Once construction work is complete, the “Neoliner Origin” is scheduled to reach Saint-Nazaire from Tuzla and make its first rotation between Saint-Nazaire and the East Coast of the United States (Halifax/Baltimore) with two stops in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon at the end of June/beginning of July 2025. This new transatlantic route is designed to offer shippers who have chosen Neoline “an industrial and competitive transportation service that is as low-carbon as possible and offers new possibilities in terms of cargo types (rolling and oversized cargo) and destinations,” it says.

With a loading capacity of 1,200 lane meters (2.8 m wide) or 265 TEU for a maximum weight of 5,300 tons of cargo, the “Neoliner Origin” can carry various types of cargo.

Neoliner Origin erste Route

CMA CGM is one of the owners of the shipping company

Neoline Développement was founded in 2015 by a group of shipping professionals who were convinced that cargo ships with sail propulsion could make a significant contribution to lower-emission shipping. Neoline Armateur is the shipping company founded by Neoline Développement in 2021 that will operate the first ship. French companies such as the Renault Group, the Beneteau Group, the Manitou Group, Michelin, Jas Hennessy & Co, Clarins, Longchamp, Rémy Cointreau and La Fournée Dorée are among the first customers on the new route between France and North America. Neoline Armateur is owned by CMA CGM, Ademe Investissement, Neoline Développement, Corsica Ferries and Louis Hardy.

The financing of the vessel is provided by CIC together with CIC Ouest, BPGO and Banque Palatine. The project also benefits from a guarantee for strategic projects from BPIFrance and 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 will provide financing after commissioning under a special CEE (Certificats d’Economies d’Energie) agreement.

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