Photo: CMA CGM

CMA CGM, ENGIE join forces on synthetic methane, BioLNG production to decarbonize shipping

French shipping major CMA CGM Group and compatriot utility company ENGIE have committed to working together to advance the energy transition by championing the industrial-scale production and distribution of synthetic methane and liquefied biomethane (BioLNG).

CMA CGM
Courtesy of CMA CGM

The duo has decided to establish a long-term strategic and industrial cooperation focused on the production of decarbonized fuels. The cooperation has the ambition to support the development of a synthetic methane production and distribution industry that can be used by the shipping sector.

An initial project to produce BioLNG for shipping has already been launched by both groups at the Port of Marseille, in partnership with Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence and TotalEnergies.

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ENGIE is leading further synthetic methane production industrial projects in which CMA CGM will have the possibility to invest, including by means of multi-year purchase commitments. These projects will harness various technologies, such as pyro-gasification or methanation using green hydrogen and captured CO2.

Pooling of expertise and R&D capabilities

CMA CGM and ENGIE are investing in research and development with their industrial partners in order to find the energy sources of the future to enable the decarbonization of the shipping sector.

In order to ensure the durability of the industry, the partnership between CMA CGM and ENGIE will facilitate the sharing of both groups’ knowledge and R&D work, most notably in key technologies such as carbon capture and green hydrogen production.

The partnership also covers the analysis of future regulations, as well as efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of BioLNG and synthetic methane for the decarbonization of the shipping industry.

CMA CGM
Courtesy of CMA CGM

A non-fossil fuel energy source and a substantive commitment to the energy transition in shipping

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) can reduce today sulfur oxide emissions by 99%, fine particle emissions by 91% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 92%. The CMA CGM Group currently accounts for 20 “e-methane ready” vessels equipped with dual-fuel engines and running on LNG and will have 44 “e-methane” vessels by year-end 2024.

This decision helped to cut the CMA CGM Group’s overall carbon emissions by 4% in 2020, following on from a 6% reduction in 2019. The group has lowered its carbon emissions per container-kilometer by 49% since 2008.

The dual-fuel gas-power technology developed by CMA CGM and currently using LNG is already capable of using BioLNG and synthetic methane. In this context, CMA CGM and ENGIE are joining forces to champion the production and distribution industry.

Biomethane can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 67% compared to very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) on a well-to-wake basis (entire value chain). Synthetic methane, meanwhile, will eliminate the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions.

Coalition for the energy of the future

Both companies have been working together for several months as part of the Coalition for the energy of the future launched in late 2019 at the Assises de l’Économie de la Mer conference by Rodolphe Saadé and supported by French President Emmanuel Macron.

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They continue to collaborate within the coalition to drive the development of energy sources and technologies of the future, to support new models of sustainable mobility and reduce the shipping and logistics industry’s climate impact.