CMA CGM Advances Fleet Renewal Program with Innovative LNG-Fueled Feeder Ships

Posted by PartYard Marine

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainability, CMA CGM is ushering in a new era of environmental performance with the introduction of a revolutionary class of LNG-fueled feeder ships. This marks a significant milestone in the company’s fleet renewal program, showcasing a commitment to advancing both operational efficiency and eco-friendly practices. The introduction of these vessels aims to not only renew the fleet but also catalyze a modal shift from road to sea.

The inaugural vessel of this pioneering class, the CMA CGM Mermaid, recently completed successful sea trials at the end of January. Departing shortly from Busan, South Korea, bound for Northern Europe, the ship, registered in Malta, boasts a 30,900 deadweight tonnage (dwt) and incorporates cutting-edge design features. Notably, the vessel’s dimensions of 670 x 97 feet (204.29 x 29.6 meters) contribute to enhanced hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance.

Designed for versatility, the class is rated with a 2,000 TEU capacity, with the capability to transport 45-foot containers that can be loaded onto trailers, presenting an efficient alternative to road transportation for regional transport.

Collaborating in a unique partnership, CMA CGM worked alongside Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Danish engineering firm Odense Marine Technique to refine the design. GTT played a crucial role in developing the gas chain and storage tank, with each vessel boasting a capacity of 1,053 cubic meters. The ships are powered by a 12 MW MAN engine, equipped with an alternator coupled to the main propulsion engine to provide electric power during transit.

The vessels’ exterior design showcases innovation, featuring a superstructure with the accommodation block positioned at the front, ensuring superior aerodynamic performance. The inverted straight bow with an integrated bow bulb enhances hydrodynamic efficiency, leading to an impressive 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption per trip. CMA CGM anticipates emissions to decrease by up to 20 percent compared to conventional feeder ships.

Further pushing the boundaries, CMA CGM reveals plans for one of the most powerful fuel cells aboard a ship, set to be installed on the final vessel of the class slated for delivery in January 2025. This hydrogen-powered system, with a 1 MW energy capacity, will render the ship zero-emission when berthed.

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea, having received the order in late 2021, is set to deliver the first six ships between April and July. These vessels will join CMA CGM’s Intra-Northern Europe line, servicing the Baltic and Scandinavian ports from hubs in Hamburg and Bremerhaven. Subsequently, between September and November, the remaining four ships will join intra-Mediterranean routes.

With an investment exceeding $15 billion in fleet renewal, CMA CGM is driving towards net-zero carbon operations. Already deploying over 30 ships, representing five percent of its 620-vessel fleet, powered by alternative fuels, the company anticipates that by 2028, nearly 120 ships will be propelled by low-carbon fuels, solidifying its commitment to a sustainable maritime future.

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