Sail transport: CWS company sets up in St-Nazaire creating over 200 jobs

Sail transport: CWS company sets up in St-Nazaire creating over 200 jobs

CWS has just announced its establishment at the heart of the Saint-Nazaire port site, in a 10,000 square meter facility located on the site of the former fruit terminal. The goal is to produce, assemble, and test a new generation of fully rigid, reversible, and asymmetrical sails, aimed at decarbonizing maritime transport. CWS plans to create over 200 direct jobs in Saint-Nazaire by 2025.

CWS offers an innovative propulsion system for the maritime sector. "Our system is the result of extensive reflection to best meet the challenges of hybridization and thus decarbonization of maritime transport," explains Bruno Toubiana, co-founder of CWS. Its patented system of rigid sails ensures consistent propulsion with limited drift effects, even at high speeds.We have developed and qualified in a wind tunnel an optimal asymmetrical profile that provides more power and allows better upwind performance. Our patented technology allows this profile to be reversed, thus deploying a fully rigid asymmetrical wing on both port and starboard tacks, while halving the height and virtually eliminating the drag in a symmetrical position.The wing developed by CWS reduces the ship's fuel consumption in conjunction with the main engine and can be deployed both on the existing fleet (modernization) and on new ships (direct integration).

50 wings produced per year in the Saint-Nazaire factory

The Saint-Nazaire factory will be dedicated to the production of composite elements of the wings, as well as to the assembly of the wings. The goal is to start production in 2024 and to ramp up to one wing per week by 2026. The initial series of wings will equip a complete fleet of new container ships starting in 2025. Ultimately, the plan is to equip more new ships as well as retrofit existing vessels.

Winner with Zéphyr&Borée in 2022

In 2022, a series of good news reinforced the viability of the project. Tests conducted in quasi-real conditions in a 3D wind tunnel showed performances exceeding expectations. CWS was also a winner of the CORIMER project call managed by the state, with its "Mervent 2025project aimed at producing a container ship with sail propulsion consisting of 6 wings, in a consortium including Zéphyr&Borée, GTT, and Ecole Centrale Nantes, making it the largest project of CORIMER (40% of the total budget allocated). CWS will produce and assemble, in the Saint-Nazaire factory, the 60 wings that will equip the ships that Zéphyr&Borée from Lorient will build for a coalition of shippers for maritime routes in the transatlantic area.

"Saint-Nazaire combines quality infrastructure and expertise in composites"

While several cities were in contention, it was Saint-Nazaire where CWS chose to anchor. In June 2023, CWS will set up its production plant at the port of Saint-Nazaire, close to the submarine base. "Saint-Nazaire offers three main advantages: large docks for ship mooring, significant lifting capabilities, and quality expertise in composite materials." The R&D department remains based in Paris for now.

Creation of over 200 jobs in Saint-Nazaire

Founded in 2016, the startup currently employs 25 people with complementary skills in aerodynamics, materials, mechanics, and automation. Supported by Nantes Saint-Nazaire Développement, CWS has begun discussions with local partners to assist with the ramp-up of staff. CWS plans to recruit more than 200 people by 2025, from various profiles including quality engineers, technicians, mechanics, etc.

Learn more about CWS