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Groupe Renault partners with NEOLINE, designer and operator of cargo sailing ships; targeting two ships

During the Les Assises économie de la Mer maritime conference, Groupe Renault announced the signing of a three-year partnership with Nantes start-up NEOLINE to develop a more sustainable maritime transport service powered by wind, and to contribute to the environmental management of its logistics chain. Nearly 60% of the Group’s parts and vehicles are transported by sea.

Groupe Renault’s objective is to reduce the environmental impact of each vehicle throughout its entire life cycle, from parts transportation up to delivery and end-of-life processing. In the context of our strategy to explore new sustainable mobility solutions and to continue along the road to reducing our carbon footprint, the solution designed by NEOLINE, which combines energy efficiency and operational relevance, has truly captured our attention.

—Jean-Philippe Hermine, Vice President, Strategic Environmental Planning Groupe Renault

NEOLINE is developing industrial-scale wind-powered freight services. Led by a team of maritime professionals, this ship owner project has culminated in the design of a commercial demo with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% through the use of wind power primarily, combined with a cost-cutting speed and optimized energy mix, compared to a traditional cargo ship on an equivalent route.

The demo, a 136-meter ro-ro ship and 4200 square metres of sail area, features a blend of technical solutions borrowed from the maritime transport industry, as well as from competitive sailing, in order to make transport more logistically and economically proficient, while also setting the bar for energy efficiency.

The objective is to build two ships based on this model and to commission the vessels by 2020-2021 on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, the US Eastern seaboard and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon.

NEOLINE was founded in 2015; its objective is to become the first ship owner to fully embrace energy efficiency by relying on wind power as its primary energy source. It is supported by the Pays de la Loire Region and BPI France. The project carries labels from the Atlantic Brittany Maritime Cluster and the EMC² Cluster.


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