CMA CGM and Bpifrance launch €200M fund to decarbonize French maritime sector

France-based shipping major CMA CGM and public sector investment bank Bpifrance have launched a €200 million fund dedicated to accelerating the energy transition in the French maritime industry.

Illustration. Courtesy of CMA CGM

“Through PULSE, CMA CGM energy fund, we’re investing in sustainable advancements, from decarbonizing fishing vessels to supporting cutting-edge maritime research. This unique initiative showcases our unwavering support for the industry’s transformation, contributing to a cleaner tomorrow for oceans around the globe and fueling the journey to decarbonization,” the shipping company revealed in a LinkedIn update.

Specifically, €110 million will be available in grants and €50 million for equity investments to support maritime firms’ decarbonization efforts. What is more, €20 million will be dedicated to helping French fishing companies decarbonize their fleets.

Moreover, a €20 million grant will be allocated directly by the fund to advance maritime research, propelling the industry into a sustainable future.

The collaboration between CMA CGM and Bpifrance is based on a collaborative governance model that unites maritime and financial sector leaders to steer the fund’s impactful mission.

Operational from April, the fund was announced at the Paris International Agricultural Show in 2023.

The initiative will make it possible to finance decarbonization projects carried out by French industrial, maritime and port players in different segments — fishing, passenger transport, maritime freight, boating, ports and terminals.

“Decarbonization is a major issue for the future of the French maritime industry. As a leader, it is our responsibility to support our sector’s decarbonization efforts. This is why I wanted the CMA CGM Group to allocate 200 million euros to an endowment fund to help, with the assistance of Bpifrance, identify and finance the most innovative and efficient projects in this area,” Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, pointed out.

The operational launch of this endowment fund, which will be used to make investments in equity, quasi-equity and debt, alongside CMA CGM, and which aims to accelerate the implementation of energy transition projects of stakeholders in the maritime sector, is an important step in the decarbonization of the maritime sector,” Nicolas Dufourcq, Managing Director of Bpifrance, added.

To date, CMA CGM has launched several large industrial partnerships to diversify its sourcing with even more decarbonized fuels.

In September 2022, Rodolphe Saadé announced the creation of PULSE, CMA CGM Energy Fund, with a $1.5 billion budget over five years to accelerate the decarbonization of all sea, land, air transportation and logistics activities worldwide.

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The establishment of the €200 million fund is said to represent an important step in the deployment of PULSE whose investment strategy is based on two main pillars — innovation with investments in electrification, energy efficiency or carbon capture and industrial energy projects with the production of alternative fuels for CMA CGM ships or renewable energy (photovoltaics) for the company’s land assets.

In eighteen months, PULSE has committed €460 million for around twenty direct or indirect investments in technological and energy projects.

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