CMA CGM’s 1st LNG-powered 15,000 TEU boxship named in China

CMA CGM Patagonia, the first 15,000 TEU dual-fuel vessel in a series ordered by French container shipping major CMA CGM, has been named in China.

The naming and delivery ceremony took place at China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s (CSSC) Jiangnan Shipyard on 28 September 2021.

Launched in January this year, the 155,000 dwt CMA CGM Patagonia is one of five LNG-fuelled sister ships ordered back in 2019. It features a length of 366 meters, a beam of 51.2 meters and a draft of 16 meters.

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The newbuild will be followed by sister vessels CMA CGM Kimberley, CMA CGM Everglade, CMA CGM Galapagos and CMA CGM Greenland.

The five new containerships will be registered on the International French Register (RIF) and will sail under the French flag. They are due to be delivered progressively up until 2022 and will help operate the Mediterranean Club Express (MEX) route — the shipping company’s strategic line connecting Asia with the Middle East and southern Europe.

Between now and the end of 2024, 44 of the group’s vessels will be powered by LNG. This technology is one of the first steps towards achieving the CMA CGM Group’s target to become carbon neutral by 2050.

From December 2021, LNG bunkering will take place in France at the Port of Marseille-Fos where the CMA CGM Group is establishing the country’s first LNG bunkering infrastructure in partnership with Total.

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According to the company, LNG is currently the best solution available to reduce shipping’s carbon footprint and protect air quality. The fuel allows for a 99% reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions, a 91% reduction in fine particles and a 92% reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions, well beyond current regulatory requirements. LNG also offers an initial response to combating climate change.

In April 2021, the company took another step towards becoming net-zero carbon by supporting the production of 12,000 tonnes of biomethane — equivalent to one year’s consumption of two 1,400 TEU vessels — with guarantee of origin. Biomethane is a renewable green gas produced, among other ways, from waste of organic and plant origin obtained from European farms and recovered at methanization plants.