First of Nine LNG-Powered 23,000 TEU Containerships Joins CMA CGM Fleet

Mike Schuler
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September 22, 2020

A priest blesses the CMA CGM Jacques Saade, one of the ships that the French firm CMA CGM ordered from China, and its crew members, during a naming ceremony ahead of its maiden voyage, at the port of Shanghai, China, September 22, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

The world’s largest LNG-powered ship has joined the fleet of French shipping giant CMA CGM.

The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé is the first of a series of nine 23,000 TEU container ships to fly the French flag.

The ship joins the French Asia Line connecting Asia and Northern Europe. Its rotation will include the ports of Pusan in South Korea; Tianjin, Ningbo, Shanghai and Yantian, China; Singapore; Southampton, Dunkirk, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Algeciras in Europe; and Port Kelang in Malaysia. This line provides a weekly service comprising 13 calls over the course of 84 days.

The LNG-powered CMA CGM Jacques Saadé under construction at Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard . Photo courtesy CMA CGM

CMA CGM ordered the nine 23,000-TEU containerships in 2017 from three state-run shipyards belonging to China State Shipbuilding Corporation. The nine ships in the series will measure 400 meters long and 61 meters wide, ranking them among the largest containerships in the world.

“The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé embodies our commitment to the planet,” said Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM’s Chairman and CEO. “This vessel has been enhanced with the latest technologies and is the result of 7 years of research and development. While guaranteeing the safety of our crew, it preserves air quality and will be part of our fight against global warming. It significantly improves the environmental footprint of carried goods. We have taken a big step forward. We need to go further to build transport that is even more respectful of the environment.”

Delivery of the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé comes amid lingering fears of overcapacity in the container shipping industry.

Earlier this month, South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) completed delivery of twelve 24,000 TEU ships commencing in April to coincide with its joining of THE Alliance, comprising Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express, Yang Ming, and now HMM. The company expects another eight 16,000 TEU ships to be delivered in the second quarter of next year.

Last week, Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping took delivery of the CMA CGM Tenere, the first of six LNG-powered 14,800 TEU ships from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Samho scheduled for delivery through 2022.



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