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lng bunkering rotterdam

The Gas Agility conducts LNG bunkering operations alongside the gas-powered CMA CGM Jacques Saad at the Port of Rotterdam. Photo courtesy CMA CGM

CMA CGM Orders Eight Additional Methanol-Fueled Containerships

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1593
September 28, 2023

French shipping giant CMA CGM has reportedly placed another significant order for methanol-powered containerships, bringing its methanol-fueled orderbook to 34 ships by our unofficial count.

According to media reports, the privately-held company has ordered eight 9,200 TEU ships from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) in China with deliveries scheduled for 2027. The order is reportedly valued at $1 billion.

The order would mark CMA CGM’s fourth round of dual-fuel methanol newbuildings since last year, following six 15,000 TEU ships ordered at Dalian Shipbuilding (China), a dozen 13,000 TEU ships ordered at Hyundai Samho (South Korea), and six 15,000 TEU ships order at Jiangnan Shipyard (China).

With this latest order, CMA CGM’s orderbook now stands at 123 ships, representing a capacity of 1.2 million TEUs, and places it on track to potentially surpass Maersk as the world’s second-largest container shipping line.

Until recently, CMA CGM has primarily focused on LNG-powered newbuilds, which have the potential to be converted to biomethane and synthetic methane (e-methane) in the future. The company recognizes that although LNG is not a long-term solution for eliminating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it does offer near-term benefits, including reduced fine particle emissions, sulfur oxide emissions, and nitrogen oxide emissions, and believes that LNG is currently the best fuel option for reducing the environmental impact of its ships.

Last week, that CMA CGM and Maersk would be joining forces to speed up the energy transition in shipping by working together to develop alternative green fuels, including but not limited to green methanol (bio/e-methanol) and bio/e-methane.

At this point it’s unclear if CMA CGM opts to use green methanol, which counterpart Maersk has committed to for its 25 methanol-powered newbuilds, or traditional methanol produced from natural gas for its newbuilds.

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