CMA CGM to invest in biomethane to fuel its LNG-powered fleet

French shipping group CMA CGM is planning to invest in biomethane production as it looks to further reduce emissions from its fleet of LNG-powered containerships.

The firm says it is supporting the production of 12,000 tonnes of biomethane, equivalent to fuel consumption of two LNG-powered 1,400 TEU ships operating on an intra-European service for a whole year.

The investment is a part of a new shipping offer for its clients but CMA CGM has also further plans for biomethane, such as bio-LNG.

“Biomethane is a renewable green gas produced in part by the methanation of European-sourced organic and plant waste,” the group said in a statement.

“CMA CGM intends to push ahead with the development of this energy source by investing in biomethane production facilities and studying the viability of liquefaction processes so that biomethane can be rolled out as a shipping fuel,” it said.

In addition, guarantee-of-origin biomethane, coupled with CMA CGM’s dual-fuel technology, could reduce well-to-wake greenhouse gas emissions by at least 67%, CMA CGM said.

On a tank-to-wake basis, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions reaches 88%, it said.

New offering

As mentioned above, CMA CGM said it has launched the first low-carbon shipping offer based on biomethane for its clients.

“As of May 2021, the group’s customers will be able to select biomethane via the Act with CMA CGM+ range of services, paving the way for a substantial reduction in the environmental impact of the shipping of their goods,” it said.

“ACT with CMA CGM+ provides a full range of services designed to enable its customers to analyze, reduce and offset their environmental footprint,” CMA CGM said.

The move is part of the shipping company’s efforts to slash emissions and to contribute to achieving its objective of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

“As it stands, LNG is the optimum solution already available for reducing the carbon footprint of shipping and preserving air quality,” it said.

That is why the firm is heavily investing in LNG as fuel and plans to have 32 LNG-powered vessels in its fleet by 2022.

These include nine 23,000 TEU LNG ULCVs, world’s largest LNG-powered vessels, and five 15,000 TEU ships on order in China.

CMA CGM has also chartered five 15,000 TEU LNG-powered vessels from Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping but also owns smaller vessels.

Furthermore, the firm may also order additional LNG-powered vessels in China this year.

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