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CMA CGM, Shanghai Port Group Complete China’s First Bonded LNG SIMOPS Bunkering

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CMA CGM, Shanghai Port Group Complete China’s First Bonded LNG SIMOPS Bunkering

CMA CGM Group and Shanghai International Port Group Co. (SIPG) have successfully achieved the LNG bunkering of CMA CGM SYMI, a 15,000 TEU Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) LNG-powered containership.

The vessel, deployed on the PRX line connecting China and the US, was refueled with LNG on 15 March at Yangshan Port.

Haigang Weilai, a new 20,000 m3 LNG bunker barge deployed by SIPG, provided CMA CGM SYMI with LNG by means of a ship-to-ship transfer, while the containership carried out cargo operations simultaneously (SIMOPS).

According to the agreement signed between CMA CGM and SIPG in January, starting at the end of the first quarter of 2022, and for a duration of 10 years, SIPG will provide SIMOPS LNG bunkering service for CMA CGM’s vessels sailing from China to the US at Yangshan Port, the first of its kind in China.

Since 2017, CMA CGM has chosen to invest in dual-fuel vessels that run on LNG, avoiding up to 99 per cent of atmospheric pollutant emissions.

LNG-powered vessels are an important first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the engine installed on these vessels is capable of, and already is, using BioLNG (reducing 67 per cent of CO₂ emissions).

In the coming years, those engines will use synthetic methane (including e-methane). The CMA CGM Group’s “e-methane ready” fleet consists of 26 vessels already in service and a total of 44 vessels by the end of 2024.

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, said: “With the completion of this joint project, our group is the first shipping line to bunker LNG in China, and the first to offer full LNG-fueled container service between China and the U.S. West Coast.

By expanding the network of world-class ports offering LNG services, this bunkering marks an important step in the energy transition.”

Gu Jinshan, Chairman of SIPG, added: “Today is a historic moment. The Shanghai port’s implementation of bonded LNG bunkering for ships on international voyages has been highly valued by the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government, and has received strong support from relevant departments.

“With the joint efforts of SIPG and CMA CGM, the first bunkering of bonded LNG for ships on international voyages in Shanghai Port was successfully completed today, which is also a first in China.

“It is of great significance to creating a world-class business environment, improving Shanghai’s port service functions, and enhancing the comprehensive competitiveness of Shanghai as an international shipping center.”