Neoline chooses Yard to build a sailing freighter
The French maritime transport startup NEOLINE has confirmed having chosen NEOPOLIA Mobility and signed a letter of intent for the construction of its first 136-meter sailing freighter following a new international call for tenders.
The project is now in financial closure phase with the objective of starting construction this summer, aiming for commissioning in the first half of 2024, NEOLINE said.
NEOLINE’s decision to retain the offer from the Loire company Neopolia Mobility comes at the end of a second international call for tenders launched at the end of 2020 by NEOLINE with around ten international shipyards.
Jean Zanuttini, President of NEOLINE Développement, declared: “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 participating in the development of our region We are therefore very happy to have been able to resume our negotiations with Neopolia and to sign a new letter of intent to order (LOI), on a basis in accordance with our needs and our capacities.
“The proposal put forward by Neopolia and its members is the result of a strong mobilization of players in the region’s naval industry, as well as local and national institutions. It demonstrates the pugnacity that characterizes these players, as well as a great capacity for adaptation and a strong desire on the part of the Loire region to develop a future industry based on clean and renewable energy: wind power.
“Today, it is realistic to envisage the launch of the project this summer, with a finalized fundraising campaign, the benchmark investor of which is the SOGESTRAN group, which joined the project in June 2020. Support from the Region Pays de la Loire, decided at the end of May 2021 by granting a € 1.3 million loan to NEOLINE Développement, is also an important step.
“The next few weeks will be focused on obtaining the bank financing agreement, 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 support us, such as Groupe Renault, Groupe Manitou, Groupe Bénéteau, Jas Hennessy & Co, Groupe Michelin and Clarins. Other chargers are preparing to join them.
Alain Leroy, President of Neopolia, declared: “Neopolia Mobility is delighted to have been selected by Neoline for the construction of its first sailboat propulsion vessel, which demonstrates its competitiveness against its international competitors. We warmly thank them. We are proud since the response to the first call for tenders in 2018 and the signing of the first letter of intent in July 2019, we have demonstrated our determination to win this contract thanks to the involvement of our members and to the spirit of collaborative 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, ecological transition and its economic reality play an essential role 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 placed economically 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, reflected, rethought our offer, we knocked on many doors, and we succeeded! In this regard, we thank the unwavering support of the Pays de la Loire Region as well as the State and the GICAN.
“We must now conclude with our banking partners from the first day the finalization of the guarantee mechanism. There are still a few points to be addressed, but we reaffirm our complete confidence in them in order to find solutions where their commitment to us will allow the conclusion of this contract and the launch of this new industrial adventure (around 300 FTE).
“Neopolia relies on its experience of major industrial projects: study and construction of the Carré Consommation for the TGV 2020, positioning on the commercial development of the Nantes Tramway, construction of the cradles for the Haliade 150 wind turbines and finally construction of three ships: the Loire-Princesse, Elbe Princess I and II (for CroisiEurope).
“Regarding the maritime activity, our members represent half of the subcontracting of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Our file was serious, our skills recognized.