Emmanuel Macron visits ‘world’s first’ wind-powered hybrid industrial ship

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, has visited Canopée, described as the “world’s first” wind-powered hybrid industrial cargo ship, highlighting the commitment of French players to the decarbonization of the shipping industry.

On March 26, 2024, Macron paid a working visit to the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, expressing his confidence in the Ariane 6 – Europe’s next rocket to fly from a spaceport in French Guiana.

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President Macron was invited on board to look around Canopée, the innovative double-propelled open-top roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ship designed to transport the components of Ariane 6 from France to French Guiana. The ship is currently anchored in the Kourou port of Paricabo.

“This visit is a strong sign of attention for all the partners of the Canopée project and recognition for the innovative maritime ecosystem,” French designer and manufacturer of wing sail solutions AYRO said. AYRO provided automated, lowerable four wings for the vessel. The wind-assisted propulsion system reduces the fuel consumption of the ship by 30%.

According to Alizés, a low-carbon shipping company dedicated to the transport of the Ariane 6 launcher, the visit “is a strong message for the maritime world, which values our innovative approach as well as those of our partners. Thank you to ArianeGroup for its trust which allowed us to take up this great challenge!”

To remind, Alizés, a joint venture between Zéphyr & Borée and JIFMAR Offshore Services, won a tender process in 2019 launched by ArianeGroup to ensure the maritime transport service of the Ariane 6 launcher. For this purpose, Alizés decided to construct a new generation vessel specially designed for the transport requirements of Ariane 6.

In February 2024, the first flight model of Ariane 6’s upper stage was loaded onto Canopée.

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The combination of diesel propulsion and wind assistance on a RoRo vessel of this size — 121 meters long and 22 meters wide — is seen as a step forward in the decarbonization strategy for industrial shipping. Last November, Canopée won the Ship of the Year Award for 2023.