Canopée is the world's first hybrid industrial cargo ship powered by wind. Developed to meet ArianeGroup's logistical requirements notably, this new-generation vessel will transport Ariane 6 launcher parts from European ports to the Pariacabo port in Kourou, French Guiana, for the next 15 years. Ariane 6 is a program managed and financed by the European Space Agency (ESA). As prime contractor and design authority for the launcher, ArianeGroup handles development and production with its industrial partners, as well as marketing via its subsidiary Arianespace.

Canopée paves the way for more responsible shipping

A common concern facing a major challenge

The maritime transport sector is responsible for 3% of greenhouse gas emissions. 90% of the goods consumed in the world are transported by sea. This trend has intensified in recent years, with the volume of goods transported increasing by 250% in 40 years. Shipowners are studying various technical solutions to decarbonize the sector. To date, although many solutions have been devised, few have been implemented; we are still very much at the beginning of this transition.

A real step forward for more responsible shipping

It was in this context that Canopée, the first hybrid industrial vessel equipped with collapsible wings, was conceived. The combination of diesel propulsion and wind assistance on a cargo ship of this size (121 m long and 22 m wide) marks a real step forward in the decarbonization strategy for industrial shipping. With its four wings, the ship aims for a reduction in fuel consumption of on average around 30%, therefore also reducing its associated CO2 footprint.

An opportunistic approach that meets commercial challenges

Wind assistance allows the use of the wind - a natural and unlimited resource - as a lever for reducing the environmental footprint of the vessel and thus contributes to the development of more responsible maritime transport. This "opportunistic" rather than "restrictive" approach meets environmental challenges without conflicting with commercial ones as this approach does not affect the ship's performance.

Canopée: a wealth of expertise working towards a common goal.

"Alone we go faster, together we go further".

This proverb "Alone we go faster, together we go further" perfectly illustrates the collective intelligence with which this project has been carried out. The Canopée adventure is first and foremost about pooling needs, visions, expertise, and the desire for change in the service to a common goal: moving the yardstick to protect our environment.

The impulse

This adventure began in 2018 following a tender issued by ArianeGroup. As part of the Ariane 6 project, and with a clear desire to find a competitive and environmentally-friendly logistics solution, the Franco-German aerospace group opened a consultation to find a commercial operator capable of meeting this expectation.

The innovative idea

The naval architecture firm VPLP Design, well known in the world of yachting and ocean race, and the company Zéphyr & Borée, a pioneer in modern sailing freight transport, decided to propose an innovative ro-ro vessel using wings to reduce fossil fuel consumption: the concept was born!
Jifmar Offshore Services, known for its innovative, tailor-made projects, has put its know-how at the forefront of this vision. To make this concept a reality, Jifmar Offshore Services brought its expertise as a shipowner, its experience in fleet management, and the financial solidity required for such a project.

Making it happen

Jifmar Offshore Services and Zéphyr & Borée have joined forces to carry out this pioneering project, giving rise to the Alizés joint venture. As a result, they won the ArianeGroup tender in 2019. Today, Alizés operates the vessel commercially (charterer) and is responsible for logistics operations on behalf of ArianeGroup.

Nils Joyeux, CEO of Alizés et General Director of Zéphyr & Borée

There are only three solutions for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) in maritime transport: reducing ship speed, using synthetic fuels, and using wind propulsion. We are convinced that this last solution can play a major role in decarbonizing maritime transport. For the past 7 years, we have been developing wind-powered ship projects like the Canopée, to demonstrate the relevance of this solution and encourage the entire industry to use it. We are very proud to be working with our partners on this world first.

Jifmar Offshore Services is a shipowner offering integrated industrial marine solutions. With a fleet of more than 45 vessels, the group operates in the defense, energy, telecommunications, aquaculture, and civil engineering sectors. Jifmar Guyane, the owner of this hybrid vessel, is fully in line with the group's decarbonization and innovation strategy. It is based on identifying and using the most appropriate energy for the operating conditions of each vessel.

Zéphyr & Borée designs and markets low-carbon shipping solutions combining wind propulsion, speed reduction, and the use of alternative fuels. It is one of the pioneers of modern sailing freight transport. The ship Canopée is a perfect illustration of Zéphyr & Borée's desire to take concrete action to change the energy model for ships in order to decarbonize maritime transport.

Jean-Michel Berud, Chairman of Alizés and General Director of Jifmar Offshore Services: Our group differentiates itself by putting its expertise and know-how at the service of innovative, made-to-measure projects. Innovation is part of Jifmar's DNA, and Canopée is an emblematic project for us. It allows us to challenge ourselves and reaffirm our position as a pioneer, while at the same time working to promote one of our group's core values: decarbonization and, more generally, respect for our environment. We're proud to be part of this move towards a more responsible maritime world.

For this large-scale project, the teams of the shipowners Jifmar Guyane and Alizés have chosen to call on Dutch expertise by entrusting the construction of the vessel to the Neptune Marine Projects B.V shipyard, renowned for its reliability and expertise in innovative projects.

The design of Canopée is the result of a joint effort by the Jifmar, Alizés, and Neptune Marine Projects B.V. teams. Based on the preliminary design and hybrid performance prediction carried out by the architectural firm VPLP Design, Neptune, assisted by its engineering firm Groot Ship Design, carried out the detailed design and construction of the vessel.

The combined expertise of these players has made it possible to launch the detailed design of the vessel (at the end of 2020) and its construction (keel laying in February 2021) all the way through to its delivery at the end of 2022.