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CMA CGM secures “green fuels” and orders methanol retrofit

Caption: Mohammad El-Ramahi (Masdar Chief Green Hydrogen Officer), Christine Cabau Woehrel (CMA CGM Group Executive Vice President) (© Masdar)

The world’s third-largest container liner shipping company CMA CGM is entering into a “strategic supply partnership” with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company Masdar – at the same time as a methanol retrofit project is being finalized.

The Arab company, which describes itself as a “leader” in renewable energy, and the French CMA CGM Group have signed long-term contracts for the purchase of environmentally friendly marine fuels to supply CMA CGM ships, it has now been announced.

The aim of the partnership is to procure, supply and provide environmentally friendly alternative fuels for CMA CGM’s dual-fuel vessels, starting in 2025 and following the gradual introduction of new “green” vessels by 2028. In addition, they will discuss expanding their cooperation, “possibly in the production of green hydrogen and ammonia”, it adds.

Mohammad Abdelqader El Ramahi, Masdar Chief Green Hydrogen Officer, said Masdar’s ambition is to be one of the world’s leading players in the development of green hydrogen. “We are convinced that global shipping is one of the most strategic markets for green hydrogen and that synthetic fuels represent one of the fastest and most lucrative market segments,” he said at the signing ceremony.

CMA CGM as an “energy agnostic”

Christine Cabau Woehrel, CMA CGM Group Executive Vice President, responsible for Assets and Operations, made it clear that as an “energy agnostic”, the shipping company firmly believes in the diversification of energy sources for the fleet. “This approach allows us to explore and deploy a variety of energy solutions, be it biomethane, e-methane, liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, electrification or other alternative fuels. Our goal is clear: to provide reliable shipping services while reducing our environmental impact and actively contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for the shipping industry,” Woehrel continues.

By leveraging Masdar’s expertise and global footprint, the collaboration aims to facilitate the deployment of CMA CGM’s new generation of dual-fuel vessels, which are ready to run on methane and methanol-based biofuels and e-fuels. 35 of these vessels are currently in the fleet and 84 are on order. Masdar aims to produce 1 million tons of green hydrogen by 2030, supported by the strong long-term commitment of the company’s shareholders, ADNOC, TAQA and Mubadala.

Retrofit contract

In addition to supplying fuels for newbuildings, CMA CGM also has retrofit projects on its agenda. A contract has now been signed with the Chinese shipyard Beihai Shipbuilding. This involves the conversion of a 9,300 TEU ship for the use of methanol as fuel.

According to Chinese media reports, this is not only Beihai Shipbuilding’s first project to convert to new energies, but also CMA CGM’s first project to convert a container ship to methanol dual fuel.

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