French shipowner Neoline has signed a letter of intent (LoI) for the construction of two wind-powered ro-ro vessels with Loire-based Neopolia.
The ships will be used for Neoline’s ro-ro transport service that aims to reduce fuel consumption by 80-90 percent.
Neoline noted the support of key players such as Groupe Renault, Manitou Group and Groupe Beneteau, which have “validated the logistical and economic relevance of the new service for the region’s manufacturers”.
Construction of the first ship is set to begin in late 2019, with the first service (connecting Saint-Nazaire to the US East Coast and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon) scheduled to start in 2021.
Michel Péry, president of Neoline, said the company is “convinced that sailing propulsion is a new sector of excellence for French shipbuilding, with strong development potential”.