Worldwide shipping group CMA CGM, headquartered in Marseilles, is to collaborate with global energy company Engie under an agreement that focuses on a study about liquefied natural gas (LNG) uses. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today in Marseilles by Farid Salem, Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, and Isabelle Kocher, CEO of Engie, will focus on LNG as an alternative to heavy fuel oil for maritime transportation.
The agreement focuses on:
- A joint CMA CGM and ENGIE technical and economic study on LNG as a fuel for tomorrow’s container ships;
- A study about the development of engineering specifications for a bunkering vessel adapted to LNG powered container ships, so as to improve over time the logistics chain necessary to fueling this type of vessels, thus promoting their deployment.
“We are most pleased with this cooperation with CMA CGM, which is a leader of maritime transport at the international level,” said Isabelle Kocher. “For ENGIE, natural gas is a key element in the energy transition. The Group is actively engaged in the development of the diverse uses of retail LNG, especially for a greener mobility. Ultimately, LNG as marine fuel could lead to a massive reduction in pollutant emissions.”
According to Farid Salem, “Liquefied natural gas has many environmental advantages. It is undoubtedly the fuel of the future of the maritime shipping industry that will progressively substitute heavy fuel oil over the next few decades. CMA CGM wishes to be a pioneer in this area. And with the agreement with ENGIE this allows the company to move one step closer.”
LNG use offers many environmental advantages compared to the use of heavy fuel oil: it significantly reduces CO2 emissions, eliminates sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions, and drastically reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matters.
The two groups consider that the use of LNG as a marine fuel is destined to expand in the near future and intend to be active players in this development.
This agreement rounds out the research program undertaken since 2011 by CMA CGM to design ever more environment-friendly large capacity container ships. In that regard, CMA CGM participates in two programs:
The first is about the development of a “Dual-Fuel” large capacity container ship whose propulsion system offers to choose between using liquefied natural gas or fuel oil only. Launched in 2011 by CMA CGM, through its subsidiary CMA Ships, in partnership with the Korean shipbuilder DSME, the design of this vessel, as a proof of its success, was approved by Bureau Veritas.
The second project aims at designing a vessel propelled without fuel using a combined gas and steam turbine system to power this ultra large container ship. The project was launched in 2015 in partnership with DNV GL, GTT, ABB, Caterpillar, and OMT.
ENGIE manages a large LNG supply portfolio and has a significant presence in regasification terminals in Europe and worldwide. In 2014, the Group (previously GDF Suez) initiated a partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK in LNG marine fuel development and ordered the first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel in the market. Delivery to their first customer is expected in early 2017 at Zeebrugge, Belgium. To go even further, last September the three groups launched a joint new brand, Gas4Sea, offering a clean, reliable, safe, and cost-effective ship-to-ship supply of LNG for the maritime sector.