At first, the vessels will be operating on a pilot route, linking Saint-Nazaire, France with the US East Coast and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland.
As Michel Pery, President of Neoline, explained, this decision came after a call for tenders, at the end of which the company decided to select the offer of Neopolia. He explained that their ability to listen to the shipowner’s needs enabled them to bring the necessary technical proposals.
Michel Pery also added that the company is pleased with selecting a local player, as it believes that sailing propulsion is a new sector of excellence for French shipbuilding, and has strong potential.
Neoline has collaborated with Renault to develop the ships, which will be 136-meter long and will have a 4,200 square meters of sail area.
With the objective of launching the construction of the first ship before the end of the year, has yet to be finalised:
- The financing of this operation, with Neopolia SAS’s financial partners (Arkea, CIC Ouest, Champollion Finance, Crédit Agricole...), and partners mobilised by NEOLINE;
- The guarantee mechanism, for which the company expects the support of the French and European institutions at the highest level, as exchanged with the President of the Republic on 17 June 2019.