CMA CGM to Fit 10 Ships With New Bulbous Bows

Photo credit: CMA CGM
Photo credit: CMA CGM

French container shipping company CMA CGM Group says it will be retrofitting 10 additional vessels with new bulbous bows that are better suited for current operating speeds.

The bulbous bow is the protruding bulb at the bow of the ship below the waterline, and because of their influence on the vessel’s wave resistance, their design has a major impact on the vessel hydrodynamic efficiency.

CMA CGM notes that the current bulbous bows were initially designed for a 24 knot sailing speeds, but because of the implementation of the slow steaming, the Group’s vessels now sail at speeds between 16 to 18 knots. Therefore, a redesigned bulbous bow optimized for the slower speeds can significantly reduce the ship’s fuel consumption and cut CO2 emissions.

The 10 vessels will be added to the list of 15 vessels whose bulbous bows have already been modified in 2013 and 2014. All vessels that have entered the CMA CGM fleet in 2014 are sailing with optimized bulbous bows.

The bulbous bows new design were shaped in cooperation with Hydrocéan, a French engineering company specialized in hydrodynamics and which performed the hydrodynamic calculations. The bulbous bow exchanges can be performed in a drydock within a week.

The modified bulbous bows are in inline with CMA CGM Group’s objective of a 50% CO2/TEU-km reduction between 2005 and 2015, which the company says is on track to be reached, already reducing its CO2/TEU-km emissions by 40%, according to CMA CGM.

Photo credit: CMA CGM
Photo credit: CMA CGM