CMA CGM, the fourth biggest container shipping line in the world by market share, has ordered 10 new megaships from China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC) as part of a series of New Silk Road deals signed between China and France’s presidents, Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron.
According to The Wall Street Journal, CMA CGM’s new ships will each have a capacity of 15,000 TEU and overall the deal will be worth approximately US$1 billion.
Rudolphe Saade, Chairman of CMA CGM, took to Twitter to announce the deal and said five of the new vessels will be run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the carrier looks to cut its sulphur emissions ahead of the IMO’s upcoming 2020 regulations.
— Rodolphe Saade (@RodolpheSaade) March 25, 2019
The deal, signed in Paris as Xi continues his tour of Europe, follows the agreement struck over the weekend that saw Italy become the first developed nation to fully endorse China’s New Silk Road, a story PTI reported on.
CMA CGM orders 10 new 15,000 TEUs #containerships including 5 #LNG-powered vessels and 5 equipped with hybrid scrubbers > https://t.co/H7gXFRzS5C
With this order, CMA CGM reasserts its leading role in the #EnergyTransition of the #shipping industry. pic.twitter.com/YlPsMqMPFB
— CMA CGM Group (@cmacgm) March 26, 2019
Furthermore, it increases China’s stake in Europe’s infrastructure and strengthens its position as a shipbuilding power, particularly in comparison to neighbour South Korea, which has struggled in recent years.
China’s New Silk Road, a trillion dollar investment that looks to increase free trade across Eurasia and Africa, has seen Beijing invest heavily in ports and container terminals, largely through its state-owned carrier and operator COSCO.