The third company in the world, CMA CGM, announced on Tuesday that it will be the first to handle a LNG container carrier ship. The CMA CGM will equip nine new 22,000 TEUS containers – the largest in the world – with all the equipment needed to run on natural gas. These giant ships will also be among the first merchant ships to run transoceanic routes on LNG.
CMA CGM has already reduced its CO2 emissions by TEU by half compared to levels in 2005 through the introduction of ultra-large efficient ships. The goal is to reduce its carbon emissions by another 30% by 2025. “We have taken the courageous decision to equip our future 22,000 TEU vessels with a technology that is highly focused on environmental protection,” said Rodolphe Saadé, CEO of CMA CGM Group. “By choosing LNG, CMA CGM confirms its ambition to be a driving force in environmental protection as a pioneer in innovative and eco-responsible technologies.”
According to the company this type of fuel will reduce CO2 emissions of 25%, Sulfur and 99% particulate matter and 85% Nitrogen Oxide emissions. There are unresolved questions about the impact of methane (unburned natural gas) on the overall effects of global warming and LNG as marine fuels. The change will bring these nine new constructions to compliance with the global sulfur content regulations of 2020 and drastically reduce their NOx and particulate emissions.
The ships are designed with 18,000 cubic feet of LNG fueled directly below the wheelhouse, where bulky tanks do not interfere with the load capacity.
In addition to the direct LNG effects that will fuel the CMA CGM vessels, the company expects its investments in LNG bunker infrastructure – such as the introduction of large bunker barges in ports tackled by giant ships – will accelerate adoption of LNG as marine fuels by other companies.