The CMA CGM Group has embarked on a major program to build a new class of LNG-powered vessels, as part of its drive to take the shipping industry’s energy transition to the next level. The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the world’s largest containership powered by LNG and the CMA CGM Group’s flagship, began its first LNG bunkering operation in the Port of Rotterdam, which will play a key role in refueling the group’s LNG-powered fleet that operates regular services between Asia and Europe.
Total’s bunker vessel Gas Agility started bunkering the container ship Jacques Saade with 18,000 m³ of LNG. The operation took around 16 hours to complete. Gas Agility, the world’s largest LNG bunker vessel, was built especially to supply ULCVs (Ultra Large Container Vessels) like Jacques Saade with LNG while they are loading or unloading their cargo.
Jacques Saade is the first LNG-powered container vessel with a capacity of over 23,000-TEU containers. CMA CGM has ordered another eight of these ULCVs from the shipyard of Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, a full subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation. By 2022, the shipping company plans to have a fleet of no fewer than 26 LNG-powered vessels in service: nine 23,000-TEU ships, eleven 15,000-TEU ships and six 14,000-TEU ships.
“The energy transition is well and truly underway at CMA CGM. As of today, our flagship is powered using LNG. By 2022, our LNG-powered fleet will be 26 strong. Through this initiative we are directly addressing the environmental challenges we are faced with. As well as being reliable, LNG is the best available technology for significantly improving air quality and contributing towards tackling global warming,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group.
“Like CMA CGM, we support the transition from heavy fuel oil to LNG as a transport fuel for shipping. At present, LNG is the cleanest fuel that can be considered scalable and affordable for this ship category. Moreover, the introduction of these new LNG-powered vessels supports the Port Authority’s ambition to serve as a key hub in the import, export, storage and bunkering of LNG. We feel honored that every year, these nine new ships will be bunkering some 300,000 m³ of LNG in Rotterdam. This is also good news for LNG throughput and storage activities in our port,” said Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port Authority.