Potential shipowner Veer is close to placing an order for what it says will be the first absolute-zero container vessel in the world.

Veer is a start-up founded by Canadian Danielle Southcott, who has been campaigning for zero-emission vessels since her early work building a sailing cargo vessel in Costa Rica.

Veer was launched with a vision to build competitive commercial vessels that would demonstrate how shipping can decarbonise.

The vessel design includes hydrogen power and wind propulsion systems.

Veer announced it has secured a €50m ($54m) letter of intent and said it has had offers from five European shipyards to build its first vessel.

It submitted its tenders to yards in August last year for the 150-teu ship, which it has called “Design Number One”.

At the same time, Veer is seeking investors to help secure the financing needed for the company.

Southcott has the vision to build a fleet of small container vessels that will operate on a liner service for cargo owners and charterers seeking the absolute-zero-emission supply chain her business model is offering.

Veer’s ship design for SailCargo 100-teu ships. SailCargo hopes to build larger sailing vessels within three years. Photo: Veer

Southcott had previously told TradeWinds her vision for Veer is to become a “sandbox” for trying out new clean technologies and being an early adopter.

“We’re really promoting a shift in a business model and energy approach,” she said at the time.

While the company is looking to utilise wind and hydrogen in its first design, it plans to create a “pipeline of innovative solutions developed and patented in what it calls its ocean solutions nursery”.