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CMA CGM bolsters its LNG fuel supply with Total deal

(Photo: CMA CGM)

CMA CGM said it signed a deal with France’s largest energy firm to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power container ships.

The fourth-largest global carrier by capacity, CMA CGM said the deal with Total’s marine fuels division will cover LNG supply at the Marseille-Fos fueling hub in the Mediterranean. Terms were not disclosed.

Total will supply approximately 270,000 metric tons of LNG per year over the next 10 years. CMA CGM said it will be the volume needed for its 15,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container ships that are expected to be delivered in 2021.

The ships will operate between Asia and the Mediterranean. Total will also offer LNG fueling at Singapore’s marine fueling hub.

CMA CGM is the biggest proponent of LNG as an alternative marine fuel. It meets the upcoming regulation that requires marine fuels to contain no more than 0.5% sulfur, and it offers a glidepath to the shipping industry’s commitment to cut carbon dioxide output in half by 2050.

Along with the five 15,000-TEU ships, CMA CGM placed a $1.2 billion order for nine 23,000-TEU ships that will use LNG. The ships are expected to be delivered by 2022, with the first having been delivered in September 2019.

CMA CGM also ordered six small container ships that will use LNG.

“Liquefied natural gas is the only energy currently available and reliable to significantly reduce our carbon footprint,” said CMA CGM Chief Executive Rodolphe Saade. “The choice of LNG to power our ships requires the complete adaptation of the entire energy supply chain and infrastructure.”