World’s Biggest LNG Engine Approved for CMA CGM Megaships

Mike Schuler
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May 27, 2020

The LNG-powered CMA CGM Jacques Saadé under construction. Photo courtesy CMA CGM

The biggest and most powerful LNG-fueled engine ever built has been approved for use on board the first vessel in a series nine 23,000 TEU containerships owned by French shipping giant CMA CGM.

The X92DF engine, developed by WinGD, is the most powerful two-stroke dual fuel engine ever built, delivering a whopping 63,840 kW of power.

The engine is fitted on board CMA CGM’s future flagship, named CMA CGM Jacques Saadé, which is currently under construction by China State Shipbuilding Corp.

The engine recently received type approval from Class society Bureau Veritas following extensive full-load tests in diesel and gas mode.

“The certification process of WinGD’s 12X92DF engine was a long process due to the size and complexity of the engine,” said Olivier Cartier, Technical Vice President at Bureau Veritas. “We mobilized our worldwide teams of engine specialists, especially in China, in France and in Germany, at each of the critical phases of the certification process. Progressive Type Approval Tests were necessary where at each test significant progress and refinement were noted, so that we remained confident that final certification at 100% of the power using gas as fuel was an achievable objective – and this has now been achieved.”

The WinGD X92DF engine. Photo: CMA CGM

Cleaner burning liquefied natural gas has been viewed as a transitioning fuel in the shipping industry’s efforts to decarbonize. It is also compliant with the IMO’s .5% sulphur limit, reducing emissions of sulfur oxides and fine particles by 99%, and nitrogen oxides emissions by up to 85% compared to conventional fuels.

“WinGD’s X92DF engines offer the most sustainable emissions footprint currently available, outperforming expectations for NOx, SOx and PM emissions and with CO2 levels over 20% lower than typical diesel engines.” said Dominik Schneiter, Vice President for Research and Development at WinGD. “With its unique combination of Otto (lean burn) and Diesel cycle technology these engines can adapt for any of the potential sustainable fuels of the future making them a secure asset for a long time to come.”

CMA CGM signed shipbuilding contracts with CSSC for the nine LNG-powered ships in 2017. At 400 meters and 23,000 TEU capacity, the vessels are set to become the largest container ships powered by liquefied natural gas.

In the coming weeks, CMA CGM Jacques Saadé will undergo its LNG trials below for delivery later this year.

“CMA CGM’s ground-breaking choice in favour of LNG is a major step forward and a clear illustration of our resolute commitment to environmental protection and to the energy transition of the maritime industry. This certification is a major milestone as it marks the recognition of the technological efficiency of our dual-fuel engine project,” CMA CGM said in statement.

In December 2017, CMA CGM and Total had signed a 10-year strategic procurement contract for the supply of 300,000 metric tons of LNG fuel per year that will be used to power the behemoths. For its part, Total earlier this year launched its first LNG bunkering ship intended to bunker 23,000-TEU vessels in the Port of Rotterdam.

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