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World's Largest LNG-fueled Containership Bunkers In Rotterdam

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 12, 2020

(Photo: CMA CGM)

(Photo: CMA CGM)

The world’s largest containership powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) began its first gas bunkering operation in Rotterdam on Thursday, French shipping company the CMA CGM Group said.

The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé, which has an 18,600 cubic meter tank, will be refueled with LNG while port handling operations are underway, marking the largest LNG bunkering operation ever undertaken for a containership.

Once bunkering is complete, CMA CGM’s flagship will continue its maiden voyage, which began after the record-setting 23,000 TEU box ship was delivered in September.

CMA CGM, which plans to operate 26 vessels powered by cleaner burning LNG by 2022 in an effort to reduce its emissions, said it is seeking to establish an LNG center of excellence for the shipping industry, with the ports of Rotterdam and Marseille Fos as bunkering hubs for its LNG-powered vessels operating regular services between Asia and Europe.

Following its 2017 order for nine 23,000 TEU containerships, including the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé and the recently delivered CMA CGM Champs Elysées, the CMA CGM Group now operates seven LNG-powered containerships.

CMA CGM Jacques Saadé loads LNG fuel from Total's Gas Agility, the world's largest LNG bunkering vessel (Photo: CMA CGM)

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, said, “The energy transition is well and truly underway at CMA CGM. As of today, our flagship is powered using liquefied natural gas. By 2022, our LNG-powered fleet will be 26 strong. Through this initiative we are directly addressing the environmental challenges we are faced with. As well as being reliable, LNG is the best available technology for significantly improving air quality and contributing towards tackling global warming.”

CMA CGM is among a number of shipping companies using LNG as fuel amid tougher rules on vessel sulphur emissions that took effect this year. LNG fuel eliminates 99% of such emissions.

It also emits less carbon dioxide than traditional fuel oil, though the shipping industry is looking at other solutions and alternative fuels such as hydrogen to meet International Maritime Organization's (IMO) target to halve the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from 2008 levels.

CMA CGM, which is the world's fourth-largest container shipping company and operates about 500 ships in total, aims to become carbon neutral by 2050.

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