Container shipping heavyweight CMA CGM Group has taken delivery of the first in an order of four container ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of fuel oil, saying in a Dec. 24 release that the move would help protect the environment and transition from petroleum to more clean-burning energy sources.
Marseilles, France-based CMA CGM received the 1,400-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) Containerships Nordin December and said it plans to receive three more LNG-powered vessels in the first half of 2019.
Welcome to the 1st #LNG-powered vessel of our fleet! > https://t.co/zgKMik8g3j— CMA CGM Group (@cmacgm) December 24, 2018
The 1,400-TEU M/S Containerships Nord will be joined by 3 similar vessels in 2019 & nine 22,000-TEU GNL-powered #containerships from 2020.
On the course towards energy transition! #shipping pic.twitter.com/4La2rYahB6
CMA CGM made the purchases through its subsidiary Containerships, a Finnish container-transportation firm specializing in the European market, which it had acquired in October 2018. Adding the LNG-powered vessels to its fleet marks progress in the company's 2017 pledge to power its nine future 22,000-TEU container ships with LNG, according to CMA CGM.
In comparison to heavy fuel oil, LNG engines allow for 99 percent less sulphur and fine particles emissions, 85 percent less nitrogen oxide emissions, and 25 percent less CO2 emissions, the company said.
Still, the cleaner ships comprise just a small portion of the giant firm's fleet. Worldwide, CMA CGM has 506 ships serving more than 420 ports worldwide on five continents. In 2017, those vessels transported nearly 19 million TEU.
The Containerships Nordwill first join CMA CGM's "New Dunkrus" service between Morocco and Northern Europe, before making its first LNG bunkering in Rotterdam. It will then join CMA CGM's French-Baltic Line before entering service on Containerships' Baltic loop upon delivery of the next two vessels.