Construction of the first hybrid sail/synthetic fuel powered container ship: the MERVENT 2025 project kicks off

The Mervent 2025 project led by Zéphyr & Borée and its partners CWS, GTT and Centrale Nantes was selected as part of the CORIMER Call for Expression of Interest 2022. Mervent aims to build the first container ship powered by hybrid sail/synthetic fuel.

on February 27, 2023

©Zéphyr et Borée
©Zéphyr et Borée


The project aims to design, build and operate the first container ship powered by hybrid sail/synthetic fuel that will reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50% by 2026 and which is adapted to an established market.

The project will focus on key issues in today's energy transition and decarbonisation, notably to achieve energy sobriety:
  • Energy efficiency: hydrodynamic and aerodynamic optimisation, optimise consumption etc.
  • Ship activity: encourage reduced speeds, optimise itineraries, handling times and crew training
  • Saving energy simply by using wind propulsion
  • Incorporating the possible use of a synthetic fuel
From its commissioning in 2025 this ship will meet the objectives set by the International Maritime Organisation 2050 which target a 50% reduction in ship carbon emissions.

Mervent is a collaborative project involving 4 partners:
  • Zéphyr & Borée as shipowner and operator, which is developing a new French shipping company specialising in the management of this type of vessel,
  • CWS (Computed Wing Sail) which is developing and bringing to market an automated and retractable wing system for shipping with the construction of a new factory in France,
  • GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz) via its subsidiary OSE Engineering and Centrale Nantes who will work together on ship energy efficiency.


The LHEEA laboratory, (Centrale Nantes and CNRS) and, in particular, the D2SE (Decarbonation & Depollution of Energy Systems) research group will take part in several actions on ship energy efficiency.

3 PhD theses will be conducted throughout the project on:
  • Energy modelling of ships,
  • Optimisation of the energy management strategies of a vessel with sail power,
  • Experimental characterisation of carbon capture.
The research work on carbon capture will go through an experimental phase and the creation of a test bench at the end of 2023. The company GTT is in charge of designing the CO2 capture system (CSS: Carbon Capture & Storage) which will then be tested on the bench designed by Centrale Nantes. These tests planned for 2024 will validate the system, which will then be installed on the ship built by Zéphyr & Borée.

This innovative vessel is scheduled to undergo sea trials in 2025. Stay tuned for updates on the different stages in the meantime!
Published on March 3, 2023 Updated on October 19, 2023