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CMA CGM to Dedicate Six New Eco-Friendly Vessels to US Service

Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, a global market leader in shipping and logistics, announced the company would dedicate six liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered container ships to the U.S. market as part of the CMA CGM’s ongoing efforts to improve air quality and promote the shipping industry’s energy transition.

The first of these new vessels will be delivered in October and all ships will be fully operational by the end of 2022. The six 15,000-TEU vessels will be deployed on CMA CGM’s Pearl River Express (PRX) line that sails from China to the Port of Los Angeles. A TEU is a 20-foot cargo container or equivalent unit.

The CMA CGM Group is currently operating 12 LNG-powered containerships, a fleet that will grow to 32 ships of various sizes by next year. This technology is one of the first steps towards CMA CGM Group achieving its 2050 objective of carbon neutrality.

CMA CGM is sharing its energy transition solutions for shipping and providing its customers with effective solutions with these six 15,000-TEU LNG-powered vessels. American customers will be able to choose to transport their goods using LNG, a new technology that helps to preserve air quality by eliminating most atmospheric pollutants.

“The deployment of six LNG-powered containerships of 15,000-TEU will go along with the development of the U.S. economy in a sustainable manner,” Saadé said. “It is a strong signal in favor of the environment. The United States is strategic for the economic exchanges and for CMA CGM–2021 will definitely be marked by the strengthening of the ties that have already united us for a long time. We deeply believe in the strengths of the American economy and we’re eager to foster its responsible growth.”

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Recently, the company introduced ACT with CMA CGM+, a set of services designed to allow customers to analyze, reduce and offset their environmental impact. CMA CGM said it will continue to incorporate the latest advanced technologies to serve the needs of its customers, in the U.S. and globally, while ensuring every aspect of its business is operating in the most sustainable way possible.

In November 2017, Saadé made the decision to order nine 23,000 TEU vessels with an LNG power supply, a first in the history of the shipping industry for vessels of this size. LNG is currently the state-of-the-art industry solution for preserving air quality. It delivers a reduction of 99 percent in sulfur dioxide, 91 percent in particulate matter emissions and 92 percent in nitrogen oxide emissions, far surpassing the requirements of current regulations. LNG also provides an initial response to the challenge of tackling climate change. An LNG-powered vessel emits up to 20 percent less CO2 than fuel-powered systems.

CMA CGM also continues to heavily invest in alternative solutions such as wind-assisted propulsion, hydrogen engines and green fuels. In 2019, it became the world’s first shipping company to successfully test a biofuel comprising 20 percent recycled plant oil and forestry waste. It has pledged that alternative fuels will cover at least 10 percent of its consumption by 2023.

For several years, CMA CGM has been firmly committed to protecting the environment and marine biodiversity, as well as to reducing its carbon footprint. In that regard, the company has made several key decisions.

This includes not using Northern Sea routes, a key policy to protect the Arctic’s fragile and unique ecosystems; reducing the speed of its vessels in certain areas that serve as key breeding grounds for whales and marine mammals, such as the Eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada, where CMA CGM’s ships cut their speed to 10 knots to avoid the risk of collision, and adding to its ships an approved ballast water treatment system that clears the discharged water of any living organisms that may harm marine life.