CMA CGM Launches World's First LNG-powered Ultra Large Containership

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday September 25, 2019

CMA CGM has launched the world's first LNG-powered ultra large containership, CMA CGM Jacques Saadé.

Named after the CMA CGM Group's founder, the vessel is the first in a series of nine 23,000-TEU, LNG-powered containerships ordered by the French carrier in 2017.

The launch was marked by a ceremony at Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard where the vessel was constructed.

CMA CGM says that compared to conventional fuels, the use of LNG will reduce emissions of sulfur oxides and fine particles by 99%, and nitrogen oxides emissions by up to 85%. With LNG's true GHG footprint still a point of contention among industry talking heads, CMA CGM puts the vessel's carbon dioxide emissions savings at around 20%.

The 400 metres long and 61 metres wide ships also feature a number of bunker saving features, including hydrodynamically optimised hulls, an optimized propeller and rudder blade, and a bunker saving Becker Twisted Fin.

Also featuring special "LNG Powered" livery, CMA CGM Jacques Saade will fly the French flag and join the French Asia Line operating between Asia and Northern Europe.

As well as being a first for the shipping industry, the vessel's launch is a watershed moment for LNG bunker advocates who see the alternative fuel as genuine contender to replace traditional oil bunkers as the shipping industry's marine fuel of choice.

CMA CGM's decision to opt for LNG bunkers remains the most significant commitment by a shipowner yet to use the alternative fuel.

Highlighting just how significant that decision was, in December 2017 Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS) and CMA CGM signed a 300,000 tonne per year LNG bunker supply deal to fuel the new ships. At the time, global LNG bunker demand was pegged at just 400,000 tonnes per year.

The French carrier has since ordered more LNG-powered box ships, and last month, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, said the firm will give priority to LNG bunkers to power its future high-capacity container ships.