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French shipping giant CMA CGM recently announced a new series of seven containerships powered by biogas to serve the French West Indies.
The ships include four 7,300 TEU vessels and three 7,900 TEU vessels to be delivered in 2024. Each will have 1,385 reefer plugs for refrigerated cargo, such as bananas.
The vessels will serve the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, replacing smaller ships dedicated to the French West Indies, France and Europe routes.
To handle these bigger ships, CMA CGM says it will help to modernize and increase the capacity at the ports of Fort de France (Martinique) and Pointe à Pitre (Guadeloupe), two central hubs of the Caribbean and South America. From there, cargo can be transshipment to Guyana, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy and northeast Brazil.
The company says that by using biogas produced from biomass, the ships will reduce CO2 emissions by 67% compared with conventional fuel. Sulfur oxide emissions, fine particle emissions, and nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced by 99%, 91% and 92%, respectively.
CMA CGM has been adding to its fleet of dual fuel LNG-powered containerships since 2017. The engine technology is also able to use biogas as well as synthetic methane. CMA CGM already has 31 e-methane-ready ships in its fleet, currently operating on liquified natural gas (LNG), and will have 77 dual fuel vessels by 2026.
Fun fact… CMA CGM transports 100% of the bananas from the French West Indies to France.
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