CMA CGM Group and ENGIE will co-invest in the Salamander project to produce up to 200,000 tons of renewable gas annually worldwide by 2028.
The Salamander initiative will create the first industrial and commercial unit for second-generation biomethane production.
Majority-owned by ENGIE and the CMA CGM Group, the site is being considered to be located in Le Havre, backed by the support of the Havre Seine Métropole urban community via the investment program ‘Le Havre, Ville portuaire intelligente’ (Le Havre, a smart port city).
The unit will be fueled by dry biomass from local wood-waste sources, along with solid recovered fuel, and will produce the biomethane via pyrogasification.
The site will aim to produce 11,000 tons of biomethane annually, starting in 2026.
The plans are backed by a total investment of €150 million ($157 million).
The two groups plan to finalise their investment decision in late 2022. A funding request has been submitted to the European Commission’s Innovation Fund.
By developing the renewable gas industry and the Salamander project, both CMA CGM and ENGIE aim to achieve the energy independence and energy transition goals set forth by the European Commission in the RepowerEU plan.
The CMA CGM Group, which aims to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, already has a fleet of 30 dual-fuel “e-methane ready” ships in operation – a figure that will rise to 77 by the end of 2026.
The dual-fuel engine technology developed by CMA CGM, which currently runs on LNG, is already capable of using bioLNG, as well as synthetic methane. This fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 67 per cent compared with Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) from well to wake (the complete value chain).
CMA CGM and ENGIE have also been working together for several months within the Coalition for the Energy of the Future, launched at the end of 2019 during the ‘Assises de l’Economie de la Mer’ by Rodolphe Saadé and supported by President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron.
Christine Cabau Woehrel, Executive Vice President Assets and Operations at CMA CGM said: “To reach our target of net-zero carbon by 2050, the CMA CGM Group is seeking to form solid industrial partnerships, led by this initiative with ENGIE that aims to produce up to 200,000 tons of renewable gas annually by 2028.
“Salamander is the first industrial ramp-up to emerge from the partnership, an advanced pilot helping to develop the renewable gas sector, in keeping with the goals of energy independence and the energy transition set forth by the European Commission in the RepowerEU plan.”
The CMA CGM Group (CMA CGM) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have also initiated a collaboration to promote decarbonisation, digitalisation, and innovation across the maritime industry.