CMA CGM Jacques Saadé

World’s First LNG-Powered ‘Megaship’ Launched in China

Mike Schuler
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September 25, 2019

Photo courtesy CMA CGM

The world’s first ultra-large containership to be powered by liquefied natural gas was launched in China this week.

CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE is the first of nine French-flagged LNG-powered containerships with 23,000 teu capacity for French shipping giant CMA CGM.

A launching event for the vessel took place this week at Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard attended by Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, French and Chinese officials, business leaders and CMA CGM Group customers.

CMA CGM ordered the nine 23,000-TEU containerships in 2017. The new vessels will join the CMA CGM’s fleet in 2020 on the French Asia Line connecting Asia with Northern Europe.

CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the company’s future flagship, is named in honor of CMA CGM’s founder and will be registered in the French International Register (RIF).

The vessel was revealed sporting a new “green” paint job, distinguishing it from CMA CGM’s traditionally blue hulls. The ship is also emblazoned with “LNG POWERED” lettering on its bow.

CMA CGM Jacques Saadé
Photo courtesy CMA CGM

The nine ships in the series will measure 400 meters long and 61 meters wide, ranking them among the largest containerships in the world. Environmental performance is enhanced through an optimized hull shape with an integrated bulk and straight bow. The propeller and rudder blade have also been improved, along with a Becker Twisted Fin®.

“With the launching of the first 23,000-TEU ship powered by Liquified Natural Gas, we demonstrate that energy transition can be effectively successful in our industry if all the players work together,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group. It paves the way to a global shipping approach where economic growth and competitiveness can coexist with sustainability and the fight against climate change.”

By 2022, CMA CGM will have taken delivery of 20 LNG-fueled containerships as the company seeks to cut its carbon footprint.

A time-lapse of CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE’s construction is below:

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