Historic LNG Bunkering Operation Completed in Rotterdam

Mike Schuler
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November 16, 2020

The Gas Agility conducts bunkering operations alongside the CMA CGM Jacques Saad. Photo courtesy CMA CGM

The LNG-powered CMA CGM Jacques Saadé has marked a new milestone as it completed its first LNG bunkering in Rotterdam.

CMA CGM said called the operation the largest LNG bunkering operation ever in history after the ship took on 17,300 cubic meters of LNG fuel.

With its 18,600 cubic meter tank, CMA CGM Jacques Saade was refueled with LNG while port handling operations were underway. The bunkering operation was performed by the Gas Agility, the world’s largest LNG bunkering vessel.The Gas Agility is operated by the French company Total, which has an agreement with CMA CGM to supply 300,000 tons of LNG fuel  per year for a period of ten years.

LNG fuel reduces sulfur dioxide and fine particle emissions 99% and up to 85% in nitrogen oxide emissions, helping improve air quality. An LNG-powered vessel also emits up to 20% less CO2 than fuel-powered systems.

For the bunkering operation, the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé used biomethane, a renewable energy that emits up to 80% less CO2 compared with conventional fuel, via the purchase of Guarantee of Origin certificates for 13% of the total fuel delivered, further reducing the carbon footprint of the LNG bunkering operation.

With the bunkering operation completed, CMA CGM Jacques Saadé will continue on her maiden voyage, which began in China after she joined the fleet on September 22.

The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé is the first of nine LNG-fueled, 23,000 TEU containerships ordered by CMA CGM in 2017. So far seven of those ships have been delivered by the shipyard. The vessels are operated French Asia Line (FAL 1) connecting Asia with Europe, providing a weekly service comprising 13 calls over 84 days.

CMA CGM said last week it now anticipates to have 26 LNG-fuelled containerships of various sizes by 2022 in its fleet. While not carbon-free, LNG is seen a lower-carbon option that helps the shipping industry meet more stringent sulphur emissions targets and a transitioning fuel that will help the shipping industry meet its carbon-neutral aspirations by 2050.

“The energy transition is well and truly underway at CMA CGM. As of today, our flagship is powered using Liquefied Natural Gas,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group. “By 2022, our LNG-powered fleet will be 26 strong. Through this initiative we are directly addressing the environmental challenges we are faced with. As well as being reliable, LNG is the best available technology for significantly improving air quality and contributing towards tackling global warming.”

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