French shipping giant CMA CGM has placed newbuild orders for 16 dual-fuel containerships, including six powered by carbon neutral methanol—a first for the company.
The other ten will be powered by dual-fuel liquified natural gas (LNG), which CMA CGM has been investing in since 2017. The new orders bring CMA CGM’s orderbook to 69 vessels.
The six new 15,000 TEU dual-fuel methanol-powered ships will join the CMA CGM fleet by the end of 2025. The order marks the first order for methanol-powered vessels as CMA CGM looks to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050.
CMA CGM began investing in dual-fuel LNG-powered in 2017. The compans says the engines installed on these vessel are already compatible with BioLNG derived from biomethane or synthetic methane. Currently, CMA CGM’s “e-methane ready” fleet currently consists of 29 vessels in service, with plans for 77 ships by 2026.
The 16 newbuild orders were announced last week along with the company Q1 2022 financial results which revealed a record quarterly net profit of $7.2 billion in the first quarter, up from $2.1 billion from the same period in 2021 and also surpassing $6.7 billion posted for the last quarter of 2021. The results come despite a 46% year-over-year increase in fuel costs and a 2.8% year-over-year dip in container volumes.
Despite recent performance, however, CMA CGM warns that geopolitical and economic risks have clouding its outlook going forward.
CMA CGM rival, A.P. Moller-Maersk, is also looking to methanol as a decarbonizing fuel, recently increasing its methanol-powered orderbook to 12 ships at South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries with deliveries planned in 2024 and 2025. The company also has a single 2,100 TEU dual-fuel methanol-powered feeder ship on order at Hyundai Mipo Dockyards with delivery planned by 2023.
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