CMA CGM and Total have signed an agreement for the supply of approximately 300,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas every year for 10 years starting in 2020 to power CMA CGM’s nine new container vessels.


According to CMA CGM, it is the first shipping company in the world to equip its 22,000 TEU vessels with LNG propulsion. The fuel will be supplied by Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions, the Total affiliate responsible for marketing marine fuels worldwide.


“LNG is the fuel of the future for shipping,” said Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and chief executive officer of CMA CGM. “With this groundbreaking decision by the CMA CGM Group, the entire maritime industry will benefit from the new supply chains that will be created. CMA CGM is pursuing its expansion through a combination of growth, profitability and environmental responsibility. By combining the expertise of two French companies, each one leader in its field, we are consolidating France’s prominent role for a more sustainable transportation and in favour of the energy transition.”


Under the agreement, Total will provide a tailor-made solution for LNG supply. The two companies have also reached an agreement in principle on the potential supply of lubricants for the nine new ships, giving CMA CGM access to Total Lubmarine’s products, technical expertise and global distribution network.


“CMA CGM’s decision to adopt LNG propulsion for its newbuild container ships sends a strong signal to the maritime world,” said Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and chief executive officer of Total. “The wider use of LNG as a fuel is an important component of Total’s LNG strategy, and we are delighted to support CMA CGM as it implements this ambitious project. This agreement highlights our involvement in developing dedicated supply chains for this new fuel. We are once again demonstrating our ability to provide customized energy solutions to our customers.”


CMA CGM is currently considering chartering an LNG bunkering vessel on a long-term basis to not only deliver fuel to CMA CGM in Europe, but also to other customers in the same region, leading to a wider use of LNG.


CMA CGM and Total signed a cooperation agreement in February 2017 to examine the most environmentally responsible propulsion solutions to meet the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 implementation date for new sulphur regulations.


CMA CGM has already reduced its carbon emissions per container transported per kilometre by 50% between 2005 and 2015, and plans to achieve a further 30% reduction by 2025.