Wind-powered transport

Antoine ADAM
Business development manager- Manufacturing

Sow the wind and proctect the planet

Harness the wind to transport freight and passengers! Nantes and Saint-Nazaire are technologically ahead of the curve, with an advantageous ecosystem for a well-structured sustainable maritime transport sector. This is where new propulsion methods are being invented to propel vessels in a more sustainable way. Cutting-edge innovations grounded in time-honoured expertise. 

Le Brick, an iconic landmark

Renovated on the Bas Chantenay site in Nantes, the Le Brick building is home to maritime stakeholders including those involved in wind-powered sailing transport: Airseas, Kopadia and Finsulate among others. It is the business hub dedicated to the maritime and boating industries.

The decarbonised transport institute

Renovated on the Bas Chantenay site in Nantes, the Le Brick building is home to maritime stakeholders including those involved in wind-powered sailing transport: Airseas, Kopadia and Finsulate among others. It is the business hub dedicated to the maritime and boating industries.

THE DECARBONISED TRANSPORT INSTITUTE
The institute for the energy transition of the maritime industry, dedicated to engineering and technology, will soon be coming to Nantes.

Wind For Goods, a national event

Wind for Goods, the first national event to be dedicated to sustainable maritime transport, will take place in Saint-Nazaire on 1 and 2 June 2023. In September 2021, 16 companies from the wind-propelled sailing transport sector had attended the event, which hosted 500 stakeholders in Saint-Nazaire.

Today, 90% of global trade in goods relies on maritime transport, which is responsible for 3% of global CO2 emissions. In order to reduce the environmental impact, stakeholders are developing groundbreaking technology to decarbonise maritime transport and design innovative vessels that are both efficient and environmentally friendly. 

Wind-Powered transport : success stories

Airseas: with a Nantes-based workforce of nearly 90, the Airbus spin-off equips commercial vessels and container ships with a giant seawing to lower their fuel consumption. A solution which enables GHG emission and fuel consumption savings of 20%

NEOLINE harnesses clean, renewable wind power as the main form of propulsion for its 136m sailing cargo ships decked out with 4,200 sq.m. of sails. An innovative solution which cuts CO2 emissions associated with maritime freight transport by 90%. 

Farwind Energy designs, produces and operates water turbine-equipped energy ships, propelled by rotors - the first technology able to capture offshore wind energy. The kinetic energy is then converted into electricity by the hydrogenerators installed beneath the hull.

Chantiers de l’Atlantique, based in Saint-Nazaire, has developed Solid Sail, a large, rigid sail suitable for propelling large cruise ships. 

Michelin’s Wisamo teams will be moving to Nantes in the summer of 2022. Located in the "Le Brick” building, the “WISAMO” project features an inflatable, retractable, automated wing sail which can be fixed on commercial vessels and pleasure boats.

Initiatives are flourishing with such innovative projects as the one led by Zéphyr&Borée which will transport the Ariane launcher, WisamoSeaWitlabTerre ExotiqueD-Ice and VPLP.

Le Brick, centre of excellence for Maritime innovation

Located in the Bas Chantenay district, beside the River Loire, le Brick brings together the stakeholders of the decarbonised maritime sector. Across nearly 6,000 sq.m., it accommodates industries, startups and SMEs in an ideal working environment with suitable production facilities, including areas for production (industrial workshops), administrative work (offices) and meetings. Airseas, Kopadia and Finsulate were among some of the first companies to locate there. 

A thriving ecosystem

Competitiveness clusters, associations, engineering schools ... there is a whole ecosystem serving the wind-powered sailing transport businesses in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire, including Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, PASCA, EMC2, Neopolia, IRT Jules Verne, ENSM and Centrale Nantes. The French association Windship, based in Nantes, is tasked with accelerating the energy transition of the maritime sector through the development and deployment of wind-powered ship propulsion. 

Wind For Goods, the industry's flagshing event

After the success of its first edition, Wind for Goods will be returning to Saint-Nazaire on 1 and 2 June 2023. This 2-day event will be an opportunity to showcase the prototypes of sails and other cutting-edge technology that will play a part in decarbonising freight transport in the future.



The other maritime transport propulsion methods

Hydrogen Fuel Celles
Will hydrogen be the energy of the future? In Nantes, the Navibus river shuttle ferries passengers across the Loire and Erdre thanks to hydrogen fuel cells. IRT Jules Verne is working on the storage of liquid hydrogen in onboard tanks with the Nomade project. Leading businesses are also playing a role, including Hyseas and Lhyfe.
Electric propulsion
In the boating sector, the Nantes-based company TEMO provides a wide range of electric motors for boats.
LNG
At Chantiers de l'Atlantique, 4 projects are readying for launch soon. Knutsen has opened its management centre for LNG carriers in Nantes.