A $3 Billion Contract for Methanol and LNG Ships is Signed by CMA CGM

  • 13-Apr-2023
  • Journalist: Jaideep

Europe: Approx 3-billion-dollar deal was recently signed by the French maritime giant CMA CGM with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) to build 16 container ships that will run on methanol and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Twelve of the vessels that will be constructed will run on methanol while the other four will run on dual-fuel LNG. The contract demonstrates CMA CGM's persistent interest in developing LNG-powered ships, and Methanol-powered ships which signifies a new partnership with CSSC.

During the recent state visit to China by French President Emmanuel Macron, CEO Rodolphe Saadé signed the deal with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). According to the reports by TradeWinds, in June of last year, the French container shipping operator placed initial orders for six 15,000 teu methanol-powered container ships and later for another 12.

In September 2020, CMA CGM acquired delivery of the LNG ship Jacques Saade for the first time. Later, 12 LNG-fueled ships were ordered for 2021. The methanol ships are part of a new arrangement with CSSC, whereas the LNG ships are most likely a continuation of a series of boats that CMA CGM has purchased starting in 2020. Maersk has a total of 19 type II container ships on order. Maersk was the first shipping business to order methanol-powered container ships. This autumn will already see the delivery of the first, a feeder ship.

Earlier this year, the state-controlled company CNOOC provided 6,000m3 of LNG for the Concorde, a ship operated by CMA CGM, to refuel in Shenzhen, China. A contract for the supply of green methanol was also signed by CMA CGM with Cosco Shipping and Shanghai International Port, albeit the commencement date has not yet been made public.

CMA CGM has made significant investments in LNG and methanol to advance its alternative maritime fuel strategy. According to the company's most recent sustainability report, which was released earlier this year, more than 70 LNG ships and six Methanol ships have been purchased. By reducing its CO2 emissions per TEU-km by 50% compared to 2008 levels, CMA CGM has reached a significant milestone.

With a target of achieving net-zero emissions as early as 2040, the Danish business still has the most ambitious plan for a green transition, whereas CMA CGM is giving itself a further ten years to do so.

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