CSSC wraps up delivery of CMA CGM’s 15,000 TEU newbuilds

After three years and six months, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) has completed and delivered ten 15,000 TEU containerships to its French partner CMA CGM.

Illustration; Image by CMA CGM

The occasion was marked by the delivery of the LNG-powered containership CMA CGM Greenland.

The boxship is a sister vessel to four LNG-fueled containerships CMA CGM Patagonia (delivered in September 2021), CMA CGM Kimberley (delivered in December 2021), CMA CGM Everglade (delivered in January 2022) and CMA CGM Galapagos (delivered in June 2022).

The latest e-methane-ready boxship will sail under the French flag operating the Mediterranean Club Express (MEX) route connecting Asia with the Middle East and southern Europe.

To remind, the company ordered five LNG-powered sister ships from China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s (CSSC) Jiangnan shipyard back in 2019 together with another five 15,000 TEU ships that were booked at CSSC’s subsidiary Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding.

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The five-vessel series features a container capacity of 15,254 TEU and each vessel can carry 1,800 refrigerated containers. The newbuilds have a membrane fuel tank, dual-fuel propulsion and use LNG as the main fuel. Each vessel is 366 meters long, with a beam of 51.2 meters and a draft of 16 meters.

The remaining five vessels of 15, 536 TEU will be burning conventional fuels and have been fitted with hybrid scrubbers, allowing for the elimination of sulphur and fine particles emissions. The TIER III compliant ships have low fuel consumption and include CMA CGM Zephyr (delivered in August 2021), CMA CGM Hermes (delivered in October 2021), CMA CGM Osiris (delivered in November 2021), CMA CGM Apollo (delivered in January 2022) and CMA CGM Adonis (delivered in February 2022).

CMA CGM is looking beyond LNG, which has been described as a transitional fuel, as it bankrolls the development and production of renewable fuels.

The company has launched a $1.5 billion fund tasked with driving forward the emergence of industrial-scale production facilities for biofuels, biomethane, e-methane, carbon-free methanol, and other alternative fuels, as well as increasing and securing volumes of these fuels in partnership with other major industrial groups with expertise in these technologies.

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In June, CMA CGM followed in the footsteps of Maersk and ordered six 15,000 TEU methanol-powered vessels. The newbuilds are planned to join the CMA CGM fleet by the end of 2025.

In addition to the six methanol-fuelled ships, CMA CGM also ordered ten dual-fuel liquefied natural gas- (LNG) powered vessels, bringing its orderbook to 69 ships.

In 2017, started investing in dual-fuel vessels that currently run on LNG. The engine installed on these vessels is already compatible with BioLNG derived from biomethane (- 67% in CO₂ emissions) or synthetic methane (including e-methane).

The CMA CGM’s “e-methane ready” fleet currently counts 29 vessels in service and will have a total of 77 by 2026.