CMA CGM Places Record $3B Order for Methanol, LNG Powered Boxships

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday April 7, 2023

CMA CGM has formalized a record 21 billion Yuan ($3 billion) agreement with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) for the construction of 16 box ships.

The deal is said to be the largest ever in monetary terms for China's shipbuilding industry, local media reports.

The order comprises twelve 15,000 TEU capacity methanol dual-fuel ships and four 23,000 TEU capacity LNG dual-fuel powered vessels.

It is understood to be the first time CSSC has had an order placed for methanol-powered tonnage.

If nothing else, the order underlines the growing importance of methanol as part of the future marine fuel mix.

The order sees CMA CGM, the world's third largest carrier by capacity, and its immediate peers continue to back methanol, having all ordered similarly sized methanol box ships.

COSCO, the worlds fourth largest carrier by capacity, only last week ordered four 16,000 TEU capacity box ships, one of the which will be methanol dual fuel and three will be delivered as being 'methanol-ready'.

Maersk, the world's second largest carrier by capacity, has orders for methanol powered 16,000 TEU capacity ships, eight of which ordered in 2021 with a further four in 2022.

MSC, the world's largest container line by capacity, has so far not ordered any methanol power ships, but recently said it is 'willing and ready' to take on more in the way of alternative marine fuels.

The LNG-powered mega-ships in the order will join CMA CGM's existing, similarly sized LNG-powered tonnage, with the company notably having been the first major shipping player to back LNG bunkers back in 2017.

Update: The agreement does not repreent an addional 16 ships to some previous orderbook calculations, as the deal discussed invovles finalizing exiting deals and the conversion of Letters of Intent (LoIs) into firm orders.