CMA CGM unveils new generation of unique containerships

  • A unique design, the result of collaboration between CMA CGM, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, which heralds a new generation of container ship
  • A novel design that enhances energy efficiency and environmental performance of the vessels by up to -20% CO2 emissions, in line with the Group’s decarbonization strategy.
  • The ten new vessels of 2,000 TEUs will progressively be positioned in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe for transporting goods over short distances, facilitating modal shift from road to sea.

The CMA CGM Group, a global player in maritime, land, air, and logistics solutions, takes delivery of the CMA CGM MERMAID, the first ship in a series of 10 new 2,000 TEU container ships powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which will be progressively deployed in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

These new container ships, with an original design aimed at improving their energy efficiency and environmental performance, will join the CMA CGM fleet of around 620 vessels, including more than 30 already powered by alternative energies. These ships will emit up to -20% CO2 compared to a similar-sized ship with a conventional maritime fuel design (very low sulfur oil).

This delivery is part of CMA CGM’s fleet renewal program, in which the Group has invested more than $15 billion. It brings the Group one step closer to meeting its objective of Net Zero Carbon by 2050. By 2028, nearly 120 ships will be powered by low-carbon energies.

A new generation of container ships, is the result of cooperation between industry players. These ships, with a different line and architecture from conventional container ships, were designed in close collaboration with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a French company located in Saint-Nazaire and globally recognized for its ship design and construction expertise.

The Danish engineering firm Odense Marine Technique (OMT) further converted the concept into an industrial prototype
CMA CGM entrusted the construction of the ships to Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD), located in South Korea. Number one in the world for performance, the shipyard manages every stage of container ship assembly.

Finally, GTT, a French company and expert in technologies for the maritime transport and storage of liquefied natural gas, worked closely on the project for the design and conception of the gas chain and storage tank with total capacity of 1,053 m3.

This close collaboration between the shipowner, engineering firm, equipment supplier, and world-renowned manufacturer has provided a concrete response to the need for innovation in naval architecture and has given rise to a new model of container ship, with profoundly renewed profile and technical characteristics.

Proportions and technologies adapted for better energy performance
Determined to optimize energy efficiency in all its activities, CMA CGM decided to resize this new series of ships. One of the original characteristics of the design is the ratio of 204.29 m long to 29.6 m wide to improve the ships’ hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance.

They are also the first ships in the CMA CGM fleet with superstructures at the front. Thus, placed at the front, the bridge and accommodations ensure better aerodynamic performance and higher loading capacity compared to conventional architecture.
A new, almost inverted straight bow with an integrated bow bulb also offers better hydrodynamic performance to reduce fuel consumption by 15% per trip.

An on-board energy mix to reduce the carbon footprint.
These ships are powered by LNG, a lower-carbon energy source than conventional fuel, which reduces sulfur oxide emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 92%, and fine particles by 91%. When cooled to -161°C, LNG powers a 12-megawatt MAN engine. These dual-fuel ships can also carry biogas (-67% eq. CO2) produced from bio-waste and are convertible to e-methane (-85% eq. CO2) produced from decarbonized hydrogen.

The 10 new container ships will also be equipped with an alternator coupled to the main propulsion engine, which will provide the energy needed to power the onboard electrical installations once at sea.

The latest outstanding innovation in this new generation of container ships is one of the most powerful fuel cells aboard a ship. It is on track to be mounted on the last of the series which is scheduled for delivery in January 2025. As the fuel cell is powered by hydrogen with an energy capacity of 1MW, this ship will have zero emissions when berthed.

A model with abundant technologies designed to maximize energy efficiency and environmental performance, the ships are finally also more comfortable and pleasant for their crew with modern interiors and booths.

A new range of feeders to serve Northern Europe and the Intra-Mediterranean
Delivered progressively between February 2024 and January 2025, the ten new vessels will transport goods over short distances, mainly in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Between April and July, six of the series will join the Intra-Northern-Europe line to serve the Baltic and Scandinavian ports from the hubs of Hamburg and Bremerhaven. Four other ships will join the Intra-Mediterranean line between the end of September and the end of November.

Capable of carrying 45’ containers that can be loaded on trailers, these ships offer a more energy-efficient alternative to road transport in Europe and the Mediterranean region.

The CMA CGM MERMAID will embark on its voyage to Northern Europe from Busan in South Korea.

Source: American Journal of Transportation (AJOT)

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