CMA CGM inks LoI for LNG-powered containerships

French shipping giant CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest backers of LNG as fuel, has signed a letter of intent with a South Korean shipbuilder to build LNG dual-fuel container vessels, according to shipbuilding sources.

LNG Prime was the first to report in May that CMA CGM was looking to order more dual-fuel containerships.

At the time, it had not yet been decided whether this new batch of vessels would be equipped with LNG dual-fuel or methanol dual-fuel propulsion.

Sources told LNG Prime on Tuesday that CMA CGM has decided to build the next batch of its LNG-powered vessels at two yards owned by South Korean conglomerate HD Hyundai.

CMA CGM has already signed a letter of intent with HD Hyundai Samho for six LNG dual-fuel containerships with a capacity of 8,000 teu.

The French firm is also expected to sign a letter of intent this week for 12 LNG dual-fuel containerships with a capacity of about 16,000 teu, the sources said.

CMA CGM will sign this LoI with HD Hyundai Heavy, they said.

All of the ships will feature LNG tanks equipped with GTT’s Mark III Flex containment tech and MAN ME-GI propulsion.

The larger vessels are tipped to be each worth slightly more than $221 million, or about $2.65 billion, while the entire order could be worth some $3.4-$3.5 billion.

Large LNG-powered fleet

Should the orders materialize, these containerships would join the CMA CGM fleet of around 620 vessels, including more than 30 already powered by LNG.

CMA CGM previously said it has already invested more than $17 billion in a fleet of nearly 120 LNG- and methanol-powered ships scheduled for delivery by 2027.

The majority of these vessels are equipped with LNG dual-fuel propulsion.

Last year, LNG Prime was the first to report that CMA CGM had decided to switch an order it placed at China’s SWS for methanol-powered containerships to LNG fuel.

This order worth about $1 billion is for eight vessels with a capacity of 9,200 teu.

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