Update: CMA CGM Said to be Eyeing LNG Bunkers to Power World's Biggest Boxships

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday August 22, 2017
  • Update 1 - Added that CMA CGM as declined to comment 

CMA CGM is eyeing the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers to power a series of 22,000 TEU capacity newbuilds, according to industry reports.

Korea's the Hankyoreh today reports that South Korean shipbuilders are in "shock" after the French carrier signed a letter of intent with Chinese yards Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding to build up to nine of what would be the biggest box ships in the world.

At this stage it is unclear if the vessels will be built as dual-fuel LNG capable vessels, or with an LNG Ready notation for easier conversion at a later date, and last week Tradewinds reported that this decision would be made at the start of next month.

There has been no official word on the matter from CMA CGM, but when contacted by Ship & Bunker for clarification on its LNG bunker plans, a spokesperson told Ship & Bunker the company did not comment on "market rumours".

Still, a decision by CMA CGM to back LNG would no doubt be a boost for the adoption of the alternative fuel, particularly given the size of the vessels involved.

Indeed, the potential impact on overall demand from the choices of larger vessels was recently highlighted by Justin Longhurst, Marine Fuels Supply and Trading Manager, BP.

During a joint forum in London organised by IBIA and the UK Chamber of Shipping, Longhurst said 70 percent of bunker demand comes from one third of ships.

The news comes as the industry debates how it will comply with the upcoming 0.50% global sulfur cap on marine fuel from 2020 and how the resulting shift in bunker demand will be shaped.