CMA-CGM-Jacques Saadé-LNG-powered mega-containership

CMA CGM’s Chinese-built LNG-powered mega-containership to set sail in 2020


In early [April] 2020, CMA CGM is set to deliver the first of a new series LNG-powered, ultra-large containerships, built by Chinese shipyards Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing Shipbuilding.

A new wave of LNG-fueled vessels is coming to the Far East, thanks to the continued collaboration between European shipowners and Chinese shipyards. Bolstered by the experience of European maritime experts, Chinese shipyards Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing shipyard are constructing a range of innovative LNG-fueled newbuilds, including a series of nine 23,000 TEU containerships with 18,600 cbm membrane-type LNG tanks for CMA CGM, which are powered by the largest dual-fuel marine engines ever built.

A market on the rise

Asian shipbuilders are rapidly gaining expertise in the construction of LNG-fueled vessels. Progress has been driven by the introduction of new international regulations to control emissions, notably IMO’s 2020 global Sulphur cap, as well as shipping’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. LNG fuel is fully compliant with all current emissions regulations and uses technology that is also suited for climate-neutral drop-in fuels like biogas and synthetic natural gas (SNG). Ship owners have taken notice of this, and a subsequent uptick in LNG-fueled vessels can be seen in the Far East.

LNG-powered Jacques Saadé takes to the seas

The first of CMA CGM’s vessels to cast off will be the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé, which was launched in September 2019. Eight more vessels are scheduled to follow, all of which will be hydrodynamically optimized and feature state-of-the-art bridge design, including path prediction, smart projection and augmented reality screens to improve situational awareness and assist in port operations. In addition, the design of the propellers and rudder blades have been improved, and the vessels will use a smart system to manage ventilation for the reefer containers carried in the cargo holds.

Providing unparalleled expertise

Bureau Veritas is set to class these new ships, leveraging 50 years of experience in the LNG industry and extensive expertise with GTT membrane-type LNG containment systems like the Mark III system used in this project. We were also been able to provide practical insights into LNG safety, storage, and handling, thanks to field experience and close cooperation with industry organizations like the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF).

In addition, Bureau Veritas experts provided specialized technical support for LNG-fueled vessel operations, including risk assessments for simultaneous bunkering and box handling (SIMOPS) and safe ship-to-ship bunkering. To address issues such as sloshing, our teams worked closely with GTT’s LNG transportation and storage experts to validate proposed modifications to the design of the LNG tank and ensure its suitability as a fuel storage tank.

Photo Credit: CMA CGM