CMA CGM explains its big ship LNG decision

French liner outfit CMA CGM has waited until now, just before the start of the next UNFCCC climate talks to offer some thoughts about its decision to power large liners with liquid Natural Gas. COP23, taking place in Bonn Germany is one of the annual follow ups of the UNFCCC where the targets of the Paris Agreement will be discussed. What may also come under discussion is the fact that shipping is not mentioned under the Paris Agreement on the acknowledgement that the issue will be dealt with by the IMO.

While there are critics who believe that LNG will not be a suitable solution to help international shipping  industry meet a strong target  in curbing CO2 emissions, should such a target emerge, it does represent a significant step according to others, who see it as potentially the only new fuel for large international tonnage such as container ships, tankers and bulk vessels.

The CMA CGM press Release:

On the occasion of the COP23 in Bonn (Germany), the CMA CGM Group, a world leader in maritime transport, is pleased to announce its decision to equip its 9 future ships of 22,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit), delivered in 2020, with engines using liquefied natural gas. CMA CGM is becoming the first shipping company in the world to equip giant containerships with this type of motorisation, thus pursuing its firm commitment to the protection of the environment and to ocean conservation.

The use of LNG is a real technological breakthrough that will yield significant benefits compared to heavy fuel oil:

  • up to 25% less CO2
  • 99% less sulphur emissions
  • 99% less fine particles
  • 85% less nitrogen oxides emissions

Moreover, the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which measures a ship’s environmental footprint, is improved by 20% compared to ships only propelled by fuel oil. These containerships will be LNG-powered – a few percent of marine gas oil will only be used for the ignition in the combustion chamber. By choosing LNG, the CMA CGM Group goes beyond current and future regulations that limit the sulphur cap to 0.5% in 2020. The Group is also fully in line with the Paris Agreement and the ongoing discussions at the international level.

An innovative and ambitious group engaged in the protection of our planet

The CMA CGM Group is firmly committed to the reduction of its carbon footprint for the protection of the environment and the preservation of the oceans and biodiversity. Between 2005 and 2015, the Group has reduced its CO2 emissions per container transported per kilometer by 50% and has set up an ambitious plan to further reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% between 2015 and 2025. On the occasion of this important announcement, Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group CEO, stated: “We have made the bold decision to equip our future 22,000 TEUs vessels with a technology firmly focused on the protection of the environment. By choosing LNG, CMA CGM confirms its ambition to be a leading force in the industry in environmental protection by being a pioneer in innovative and eco-responsible technologies.”

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