Piriou to build TOWT’s wind-powered cargo ship

French shipyard Piriou has secured a contract with sailing freight transport company TransOceanic Wind Transport (TOWT) for the design studies and the construction of an 81-metre sailing cargo ship.

Future TOWT sailing cargo ship; Image by Piriou
Future TOWT sailing cargo ship; Image by Piriou

Following the design studies phase, the ship construction will take 18 months after which the ship will be outfitted in Concarneau, the shipyard said. The launch of the ship is scheduled for summer 2023.

The wind-powered ship will have a 1,100-ton goods capacity and will be designed to spend 320 days at sea per year.

The ship also features a hybrid power mode, with one or two engines operating at different levels of power. In addition to the wind as the principal power source, with a sail rigging spread over two masts, the ship will be equipped with two turbocharged four-stroke marine diesel engines.

As described, the ship and its equipment will be in line with the regulations on cargo vessels performing international trips and will comply with the regulations relating to cargo vessels with a gross register tonnage greater than 500 UMS.

According to Guillaume Le Grand, chairman of TOWT, the cargo ship is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 90% and to save 3,000 tons of CO2 per year.

“In addition to the carbon savings, principally wind-powered propulsion will allow a significant reduction in the air pollution caused by the heavy fuel oil generally used by merchant ships”, he added.

Vincent Faujour, chairman of Piriou said: “A few weeks after announcing the signing of a contract for the construction of Jean-Louis Etienne’s sailboat “Septième Continent”, Piriou is proving that the shipyard is at the forefront of innovation regarding the progress of sailing technologies and the decarbonization of maritime transport”.

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