CMA CGM presents first new LNG feeder vessel

The “CMA CGM Mermaid” is the first ship in a series of ten 2,000 TEU container ships with a new design for a better energy balance. They will be deployed from Hamburg and Bremerhaven, among other ports.

The 2,000 TEU container ships, which run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), will be deployed in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. The delivery is part of CMA CGM’s fleet renewal program, in which the Group has invested more than $15 billion. By 2028, the shipping company aims to operate almost 120 vessels in its fleet of around 620 ships with low-carbon energy. By 2050, it wants to sail CO2-free. [ds_preview]

The new feeder container ships are expected to emit up to 20% less CO2 compared to a ship of a similar size powered by conventional fuel (VLSFO). The newbuildings, which differ from conventional container ships in terms of their lines and architecture, were developed in collaboration with the French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The Danish engineering firm Odense Marine Technique (OMT) turned the concept into an industrial prototype.
CMA CGM entrusted Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in South Korea with the construction of the ships.

The French LNG tank specialist GTT was also involved in the project by designing and engineering the LNG fuel tanks with a total capacity of 1,053 m³.

One of the features of the design is the ratio of 204.29 m length to 29.6 m width to improve the hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance of the vessels. They are also the first vessels in the CMA-CGM fleet to have superstructures at the front. By placing the bridge and accommodation forward, better aerodynamic performance and a higher loading capacity are ensured compared to a conventional architecture, it is said. An almost straight stem and integrated bow bulb are also said to provide better hydrodynamic performance to reduce fuel consumption by 15% per voyage.

CMA CGM also plans to test its first fuel cell

The ships are powered by LNG, which reduces sulphur oxide emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 92% and particulate matter emissions by 91%. Propulsion is provided by a MAN engine with an output of 12 MW. These dual-fuel ships can also use biogas (-67% CO2 equivalent) and, according to the shipping company, can be converted to e-methane (-85% CO2 equivalent).

CMA CGM MERMAID Containerschiff mit 2000 TEU

The 10 new container ships will also be equipped with a generator coupled to the main propulsion engine, which will supply the energy required at sea to power the electrical systems on board.
Another innovation of this new generation of container ships is one of the “most powerful fuel cells on board a ship”, as CMA CGM announces. It is to be installed on the last ship in the series, which is scheduled for delivery in January 2025. With the 1 MW fuel cell, which will run on hydrogen, the ship will produce no emissions in port.

The ships are also equipped with numerous technologies to maximize energy efficiency and environmental performance.

Feeder services from Hamburg and Bremerhaven

The ten new ships, which will be delivered gradually between February 2024 and January 2025, will transport goods on short routes, mainly in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Between April and July 2024, six ships from the series will join the Intra-Northern Europe service to serve the Baltic and Scandinavian ports from the hubs in Hamburg and Bremerhaven. Four more ships will be deployed on the Intra-Mediterranean service between the end of September and the end of November.

The ships can also carry 45-foot containers that can be loaded onto trailers, making them a more energy-efficient alternative to road transport in Europe and the Mediterranean, according to CMA CGM.

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