CMA CGM picks Damen to upgrade 10 vessels

Dutch shipbuilding company Damen Shipyards Group and French shipping giant CMA CGM have entered into a cooperation that will result in around 10 of the latter’s vessels receiving significant modifications.


The key feature of the cooperation will be the installation of bulbs on the bows of the vessels. The upgrades will take place at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (DSDu) and Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam (DSAm).

Specifically, nine stops by CMA CGM vessels are scheduled for this year, five at DSDu and four at DSAm. Three of these will be for the installation of bow bulbs, with the first being the liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled containership Polar. The 120-tonne bulb has been fabricated at DSAm and will be fitted there shortly. The remaining two vessels will be the 170-meter Arctic and the 170-meter Aurora, Damen revealed.

While the bulb retrofits are expected to yield savings in fuel consumption of between 5 to 10%, CMA CGM is looking at other upgrades that can further contribute to the efficiency of their vessels.

To assist the shipping group in meeting its decarbonization goals, Damen will also provide propeller upgrades, modifications to the propeller nozzle, and silicone paint. Each of these upgrades are said to deliver additional fuel savings of between 2 and 5%.

Three of the vessels will also be equipped to access shore power, thereby reducing their emissions when alongside ports that offer the service. This is in line with CMA CGM’s commitment to cleaner operations.

Up until now, CMA CGM has been using shipyards in China and occasionally in the Middle East, but this agreement marks for the first time their use of European yards for these complex modifications.

In January this year, the French shipping heavyweight signed a deal with China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Co. to carry out a containership methanol dual-fuel conversion project at Beihai Shipbuilding. The deal is expected to cover 9,360 TEU vessels built around a decade ago, with the commencement of the contract set for the beginning of 2025. 

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