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FRENCH SAIL-POWERED RO-RO PROJECT TO GO AHEAD

FRENCH SAIL-POWERED RO-RO PROJECT TO GO AHEAD

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 

Neoline has chosen French company Neopolia Mobility for the construction of its first 136m sailing cargo ship following a new international tender.

The companies have signed a letter of intent and say that the project is now in the financial closure phase with the objective of starting construction this Summer, aiming for commissioning in the first half of 2024.

Neoline's decision comes at the end of a second international call for tenders launched at the end of 2020 by Neoline with about ten international shipyards. This choice was made possible by the strong mobilization of the shipyard in the Loire Valley, the members of the Neopolia network as well as the active participation of the Pays de la Loire Region and regional and national institutions.

Neoline's responsible maritime transport offer is based on the operation of ro-ro cargo ships with a main wind propulsion system, allowing a saving of 80% to 90% of fuel consumption and associated emissions compared to a conventional ship of the same size.

• Neopolia Mobility aims to unite 240 companies, mainly in the Pays de la Loire region, on innovative projects in order to guarantee a balanced development of the territory.

Jean Zanuttini, President of Neoline Développement, said: "Neopolia Mobility's offer emerged from our call for tenders as being the best able to reconcile our technical requirements, our budgetary and time constraints, as well as our desire to participate in the development of our region. We are therefore very pleased to have been able to resume our negotiations with Neopolia and to sign a new Letter of Intent to Order (LOI), on a basis that is in line with our needs and capabilities. Today, it is realistic to envisage the launch of the construction site as early as this Summer, with a finalized round of financing whose reference investor is the Sogestran group, which joined the project in June 2020. The support of the Region of Pays de la Loire, decided at the end of May 2021 via the granting of a €1.3m loan to Neoline Développement, also constitutes an important step."

Alain Leroy, President of Neopolia, said: "Neopolia Mobility is delighted to have been selected by Neoline for the construction of its first vessel with velic propulsion, which demonstrates its competitiveness against its international competitors. Within our various sectors, the ecological transition and its economic reality take an essential place and this first contract is intended to support the development of a new wind propulsion industry for merchant ships, through this world first."

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