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  October 26th, 2016 | Written by

LNG: Alternative to Heavy Fuel Oil for Maritime Transportation

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  • CMA CGM-ENGIE agreement focuses on a study about liquefied natural gas uses.
  • CMA CGM-ENGIE MOU follows up ON research programs to design LNG powered container vessels.
  • ENGIE is a pioneer in the development of LNG as a marine fuel.

CMA CGM and ENGIE have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote LNG as the marine fuel for tomorrow’s container vessels.

Farid Salem, executive officer of the CMA CGM Group, and Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE, signed the agreement today at the Marseille headquarters of CMA CGM.

The agreement focuses on a joint CMA CGM and ENGIE technical and economic study on LNG as a fuel for tomorrow’s container ships. It also includes a study about the development of engineering specifications for a bunkering vessel adapted to LNG powered container ships. This will improve the logistics chain necessary to fueling this type of vessels over time, thus promoting their deployment.

“For ENGIE, natural gas is a key element in the energy transition,” said Kocher. “The group is actively engaged in the development of the diverse uses of retail LNG, especially for transportation. Ultimately, liquefied natural gas as marine fuel will lead to a massive reduction in pollutant emissions.”

“Liquefied natural gas has many environmental advantages,” said Salem. “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.”

LNG use offers many environmental advantages compared to the use of heavy fuel oil: it significantly reduces CO2 emissions, eliminates sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions, and drastically reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matters.

The two groups consider that the use of LNG as a marine fuel is destined to expand in the near future and intend to be active players in this development.

This agreement rounds out the research program undertaken since 2011 by CMA CGM to design ever more environment-friendly large capacity container ships. CMA CGM is participating in the development of a dual-fuel large capacity container ship whose propulsion system can operate on either liquefied natural gas or fuel oil. Another CMA CGM project aims at designing a large capacity container-ship using a combined gas and steam turbine system.