CONTRACT SIGNATURE OF NEOLINER PROJECT, FIRST SAILING CARGO DESIGNED BY MAURIC
NEOLINER: a project which continues the MAURIC tradition of sailing vessels design
Since the 30’s, André Mauric made himself known for drawing and designing iconic sailing boats such as the First 30 of Bénéteau or Kriter V and the famous Pen Duick VI for Eric Tabarly. Mauric also designed the Alcyone, one of the renowned research vessels of Commandant Cousteau in the 80’s. Building on this heritage, of years of naval architecture practice and of hundreds of references, MAURIC refreshes the sailing vessel in a new style and unprecedent size: Neoliner 136 is a modern and environmentally-friendly solution for Ro-Ro transport and maritime shipping, based on an innovative architecture of wind propelled commercial vessel.
MAURIC at the forefront of maritime transport decarbonization
MAURIC is collaborating with NEOLINE since 2015. Thanks to a close cooperation and emulative partnership, MAURIC and NEOLINE have developed a new and more responsible service for shipping, opening the minds to the possible decarbonization of maritime transport. During the last years, MAURIC has spent more than 5 000 hours of engineering studies for this project, in order to confirm the feasibility, optimize the definition of the vessel and develop this new innovative sailing ship with real capacities and suitable performances.
The objective was to develop a Ro-Ro cargo vessel with sails as main propulsion systems reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by 80% to 90% in comparison with standard Ro-Ro vessels. The development studies led by MAURIC have ensured the compliancy with industrial and regulatory constraints considering the cargo space requirements driven by the future end-users of this vessel.
As a result, this Ro-Ro sailing cargo, Neoliner 136, will be 136 meter long with two Solid Sail rigs (1500 square meters each) from Chantiers de l’Atlantique. She provides a rolling lane capacity of 1130 meters and 265 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units for a total of 5 300 tons of cargo capacity. Solid Sail rig can be folded for passing under bridges. It has been selected as being the best technical solution among the other wind-powered technologies, for this Ro-Ro project. Preliminary designs have also been assessed in terms of performances (velocity according to the wind direction, leeway drifting, drag) and optimized to improve both performance and environmental impact. With the commercial speed of 11 knots under sails, the fuel consumption will be reduced by 80% on her cross-Atlantic route. This MAURIC design will overpass all the wind assisted propulsion vessels currently in operations. One hybrid propulsion is still present as a spare mechanical propulsion and in case of light wind situation.
The ship building, the beginning of a new reference
For the first time since decades, a commercial vessel has been designed for and with sailing as primary propulsion system. After years of perseverance, MAURIC is glad to be the naval architect of this new concept in the forefront of the future Zero Emission cargo vessels.
With the announcement of the start of the Neoliner construction at RMK Marine Shipyard in Turkey, the 18th of January marks a key date of the scheme. The agreement is now effective and plan the delivery of the first Ro-Ro sailing cargo by mid-2025. This is, for NEOLINE and all the partners, a culmination of the project handled since almost 12 years. MAURIC will provide to the shipyard, all the design studies (basic and detailed) and assistance in construction phase, as Naval Architect of the Neoliner. The ship building will be ensured by RMK MARINE, one of the leading companies of the Turkish Shipbuilding Industry.
Challenges remain to be tackled for MAURIC together with RMK Marine. Our teams are now focus to ensure the first milestones (as towing tank tests, structural studies, rig detailed integration, etc.) and the first steel cutting after summer.
In 2025, with Neoliner, we will benefit from a SEA PROVEN design, in operation, on the northern Atlantic Ocean to convince the shipping community about the sails suitability for large merchant vessels. Based on these tried and tested data we will be able to confirm, improve our models and raise the general quality of our sailing ship designs in order to make them performing, manoeuvrable with reduced crew, on time for stopovers, but, above all, energy efficient, sustainable and more environmentally friendly.
The MAURIC strategy: larger but also greener ships for the coming years
Since 1945, MAURIC is designing efficient vessels, specifically optimized for the Owner’s requirements. For more than a dozen of years now, we offer low environmental footprint solutions based on hybridization, alternative fuel integration such as LNG, CNG, hydrogen or more recently methanol on newbuild and ship modernization. Those R&D works are based on users and professional crew requirements to offer, onboard MAURIC ships, the latest available technological advances. As naval architect, we are continuously developing our expertise in the integration of low carbon energy and propulsion systems onboard newbuilding or refit projects.
In this way, the first Zero Emission ship dedicated to the fishing sector is nowadays being designed and engineered by MAURIC (20m fishing training vessel equipped with electro-hydrogen system for energy and propulsion based on H2 fuel cells to serve the Lycée Professionnel Maritime et Aquacole de Bastia). Our general approach is totally agnostic regarding the technology to be used to reach our decarbonization goal on each project. This led us to introduce hybridization on naval fleets (5 programs over the last 6 years), study alternative fuels on windfarm fields operation (on-going R&D programs), wind propulsion on maritime freight and passenger transportation (including Neoliner) or by imagining the engine room of the future in an international partnership.
Neoliner project is a new milestone in the development of MAURIC’s company towards larger and more complex vessels. After years of preliminary studies, the project will become a reality in the MAURIC workload for the coming year. The scaling up is taking place year after year since 2016 and introducing hybrid offshore patrol vessels in the French Navy fleet (3 sisterships between 2016 and 2019), then in 2021 the new biggest MAURIC design was launched: the ROPAX Tereveau Piti, and finally in 2022 the first OPV POM Auguste Bénébig has successfully joined the French Navy fleet (first out of a series of 6 ships). For now, Neoliner project is a unique world premiere and iconic ongoing realization for the decarbonization of the shipping and maritime sector and a unique opportunity to be committed in.