Neoline Chooses Yard to Build Sailing Cargo Ship
French shipping startup NEOLINE confirmed it has chosen NEOPOLIA Mobility and signed an LOI for the construction of its first 136-meter sailing cargo ship following a new international tender.
The project is now in the financial closure phase with the objective of starting construction this Summer, aiming for a commissioning in the first half of 2024, NEOLINE said.
NEOLINE's decision to select the offer of the Loire-based company Neopolia Mobility comes at the end of a second international call for tenders launched at the end of 2020 by NEOLINE with about 10 international shipyards.
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.
"The proposal carried by Neopolia and its members is the result of a strong mobilization of the actors of the shipbuilding industry in the region, as well as local and national institutions. It demonstrates the pugnacity that characterizes these actors, as well as a great capacity of adaptation and a strong will of the Loire region to develop a future industry based on a clean and renewable energy: the wind.
"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 €1.3 million loan to NEOLINE Développement, also constitutes an important step.
"These next weeks will be focused on obtaining the agreement of banking financing, which remains a challenge within the framework of an innovative project. However, our banking partners are very mobilized and sensitive to the commitments made by the pioneer shippers who are accompanying us, such as the Renault Group, the Manitou Group, the Beneteau Group, Jas Hennessy & Co, the Michelin Group and Clarins. Other shippers are preparing to join them."
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. We thank them warmly for this. We are proud to be their partner. Since responding to the first tender in 2018 and then signing the first LOI in July 2019, we have demonstrated our determination to win this contract thanks to the involvement of our members and the collaborative spirit at the heart of the network (23 companies involved). We are convinced of the strength and scope of such a program for our Territory. 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.
"We have worked hard to ensure that our offer is both the best economically placed in Europe and the most technically advanced. This result is the fruit of the work of the project team: Hervé Germain (MYG Design), Pascal Lemesle (PL & Mer) and Vincent Seguin (Mauric), accompanied by Juliette Mouchet, Christophe Delâtre, Jean-Michel Guyonvarch and Jean-Marc Messié (Neopolia). The exercise was not always easy! We have built, deconstructed, thought about, and rethought our offer, we have knocked on many doors, and we have succeeded! In this respect, we thank the unfailing support of the Pays de la Loire Region as well as the State and GICAN.
"We must now conclude with our banking partners of the first day the finalization of the guarantee device. There are still a few points to be dealt with, but we reaffirm our full confidence in them in order to find solutions where their commitment by our side will allow the conclusion of this contract and the launch of this new industrial adventure (approximately 300 FTE).
"Neopolia relies on its experience in large industrial projects: study and realization of the Carré Consommation for the TGV 2020, positioning on the commercial development of the Nantes Tramway, realization of the cradles for the Haliade 150 wind turbines and finally construction of three ships: the Loire-Princesse, the Elbe Princess I and II (for CroisiEurope).
"Concerning the maritime activity, our members represent half of the subcontracting of the Chantiers de l'Atlantique. Our file was serious, our skills recognized."