CMA CGM launches largest LNG-powered containership and future Flagship

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The CMA CGM Group, a leading worldwide shipping and logistics group, announced the launching of the world's largest containership (23,000 TEUs) powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

This major milestone in the construction of the world's first LNG-powered ultra large containership was reached at the Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard on Sept. 25, 2019, at an event attended by Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and chief executive officer of the CMA CGM Group, Chen Yin, executive deputy mayor of Shanghai, Jiang Mingbao, chief engineer at the Ministry of Transport (MOT) of the People's Republic of China, Lei Fanpei, chairman of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Laurent Bili, French ambassador in China, Ning Yong, VP of China EXIM Bank, Dai Zhihao, general manager of An Steel Group and a large number of French and Chinese officials, business leaders and CMA CGM Group customers.

During the launch event, Rodolphe Saadé said: "With the launching of the first 23 000 TEU ship powered by Liquified Natural Gas, we demonstrate that energy transition can be successful in our industry if all the players work together. It paves the way to a global shipping approach where economic growth and competitiveness can coexist with sustainability and the fight against climate change."

Lei Fanpei noted: "CMA CGM Group, with extraordinary foresight and courage, formally signed the construction contract with China State Shipbuilding Corporation for the 9 largest, most advanced and eco-friendly containerships in the world, leading the future development of containership market."

The first in a new fleet of LNG-powered vessels built in China

In 2017, Rodolphe Saadé announced his decision to order a series of nine 23,000-TEU containerships that would be the world's first ever to be powered by liquefied natural gas. To build these outstanding vessels, the CMA CGM Group selected the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) for their capabilities and widely respected expertise.

Through this strategic choice, the CMA CGM Group reaffirmed its assertive commitment to safeguarding the environment and leading the industry's energy transition. LNG is a particularly clean source of power that helps to reduce emissions of sulphur and fine particles by 99%, nitrogen oxides emissions by 85% and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20%.

These new vessels will join the Group's fleet in 2020 on the French Asia Line (Asia-Northern Europe).

Technologically-advanced containerships

The nine new builds will feature a state-of-the-art bridge design, a world first equipped to assist the Captain and crew, as well as a smart system to manage ventilation for the reefer containers carried in the hold.

To further improve the environmental performance of the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE and her sisterships, their hull forms have been hydrodynamically optimised. The bulb has been seamlessly integrated into the hull profile and the bow is straight. The propeller and rudder blade have also been improved, along with the Becker Twisted Fin®.

These exceptionally large vessels (400 metres long and more than 61 metres wide) will be distinguished from the rest of the fleet by a special livery proudly displaying an "LNG POWERED" logo, attesting to the major worldwide innovation that LNG propulsion represents on ships of this size.

An outstanding tribute to Jacques Saadé, Founder of the CMA CGM Group

By naming the world's first LNG-powered, 23,000-TEU containership CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the Group has symbolically given the name of its founder to its future flagship. Jacques Saadé built CMA CGM into one of the world's leading maritime shipping companies, while maintaining its family dimension and strong values. In this way, he left a lasting mark on the entire shipping industry.

Anticipating the key role China would play in the global economy, Jacques Saadé decided to open in 1992 CMA's first office in Shanghai. Since then, the Group has forged a mutually trusting relationship with China, as evidenced by the visits to its Marseille headquarters by Premier Li Keqiang in 2015 and the Mayor of Shanghai in 2017. The Chinese have also nicknamed CMA CGM "Da Fei", or "the one who moves forward." 

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