CMA CGM Promotes LNG as Marine Fuel


CMA CGM has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a French energy company called ENGIE, to encourage the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a replacement for current marine fuels.

The agreement focuses on a study about liquefied natural gas (LNG) uses, it follows up CMA CGM research programs to design LNG powered container vessels; ENGIE is a pioneer in the development of LNG as a marine fuel.

The MoU was signed by Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE, and Farid Salem, Executive Officer of the CMA CGM group, it occurred at the headquarters of GMA CGM in Marseille, France.

The two main points of the MoU are as follows:

  • 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 fuelling this type of vessels, thus promoting their deployment.

Isabelle Kocher said: “We are most pleased with this cooperation with CMA CGM, which is a leader of maritime transport at the international level. 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 transportation. Ultimately, LNG as marine fuel will lead to a massive reduction in pollutant emissions.”

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Farid Salem said: “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 sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions, and drastically reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matters.

Research by CMA CGM on environmentally friendly large-capacity shipping began in 2011, CMA CGM currently 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 large capacity container-ship using a combined gas and steam turbine system to power this ultra large container ship. The “Perfect” project was launched in 2015 in partnership with DNV GL, GTT, ABB, Caterpillar, and OMT.

This news comes after the announcement that delegates are to gather the week commencing October 24, 2016, in London for an International Maritime Organization meeting, a coalition of international non-governmental organisations, The Clean Arctic Alliance, is calling for an end to the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in Arctic waters.

HFO is used by many ships operating in Arctic waters, and poses a severe risk to fragile marine environments and the coastal communities that depend upon them.

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