CMA CGM: Six LNG-powered 15,000 TEU containerships to serve US market

French container shipping major CMA CGM plans to dedicate six new 15,000 TEU liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containerships to the U.S. market as part of the group’s ongoing efforts to improve air quality and drive forward the energy transition of the shipping industry.

Illustration. Image by Navingo

The announcement was made by Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CMA CGM, at the opening session of TPM, a conference for the trans-Pacific and global container shipping and logistics community. 

The 15,000-TEU LNG-powered sextet to call the U.S.  

The first of these new vessels is planned to be delivered in October 2021, and all ships will be fully operational by the end of 2022.

As informed, the six 15,000-TEU vessels will be deployed on CMA CGM’s Pearl River Express (PRX) line, which sails from China to the Port of Los Angeles.

“The deployment of 6 LNG-powered containerships of 15,000-TEU will go along with the development of the US economy in a sustainable manner. It is a strong signal in favor of the environment,” Rodolphe Saadé commented.

The United States is strategic for the economic exchanges and for CMA CGM: 2021 will definitely be marked by the strengthening of the ties that have already united us for a long time. We deeply believe in the strengths of the American economy and we’re eager to foster its responsible growth.” 

CMA CGM LNG-powered containerships
Image Courtesy: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Group currently operates 12 LNG-powered containerships, a fleet that will grow to 32 containerships of various sizes by 2022. This technology is one of the first steps towards achieving CMA CGM Group’s ambitious 2050 objective of carbon neutrality.  

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Reducing environmental impact 

According to CMA CGM, American customers will be able to choose to transport their goods using LNG, a new technology that helps to preserve air quality by eliminating almost all atmospheric pollutants. 

Recently, the group also introduced ACT with CMA CGM+, a set of services designed to allow customers to analyze, reduce and offset their environmental impact.

In November 2017, Rodolphe Saadé unveiled the decision to order nine 23,000 TEU vessels with an LNG power supply, a first in the history of the shipping industry for vessels of this size. 

LNG is a widespread industry solution for preserving air quality. It delivers a reduction of 99% in sulfur dioxide, 91% in particulate matter emissions and 92% in nitrogen oxide emissions, far surpassing the requirements of current regulations. LNG also provides an initial response to the challenge of tackling climate change. An LNG-powered vessel emits up to 20% less CO2 than fuel-powered systems. 

CMA CGM moving toward a zero-carbon future 

CMA CGM is actively implementing measures to accelerate the industry’s energy transition and is significantly investing in research and development to design the clean vessels of the future. 

The company also continues to heavily invest in alternative solutions such as wind-assisted propulsion, hydrogen engines and green fuels. In 2019, the group tested biofuel comprising 20% recycled plant oil and forestry waste. It has pledged that alternative fuels will cover at least 10% of its consumption by 2023.