A crowning achievement for LNG expertise

In September, the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé was delivered to ship owner CMA CGM. This 23,000 TEU containership is the first in a series of nine vessels and the world’s largest LNG-powered containership.

Built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, the ship features a membrane Mark III Flex containment system from GTT and a two-stroke WinGD XDF 92 engine.

To class this complex and innovative vessel, CMA CGM chose Bureau Veritas. Following the end of this three-year project, our experts have come away with new insights, expertise and confidence in their ability to handle new fuel challenges.

Scaling the heights of LNG

The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé houses an 18,600 m3 membrane tank, the first built to this scale. This led the Bureau Veritas team to seek solutions to two issues: they needed to ensure the tank’s structural integrity and manage sloshing within the tank.

From a structural perspective, the vessel design had to be modified to fit such a large tank. Where most LNG-fueled ships have two tanks, the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé holds only a single tank, requiring a separate structural assessment. Our experts performed key technical and design studies to determine tank fit onboard, and the vessel shape was altered accordingly.

Managing sloshing was an equally important step, as the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé will be making round trips from Asia to Northern Europe. This means navigating areas like the Bay of Biscay, where harsh conditions are common. Bureau Veritas’ technical research department provided sloshing calculations to GTT to ensure the membrane tank could safely withstand sudden and intense motion without losing LNG.

This experience will enable our experts to work efficiently on the vessel’s eight sister ships, as well as five additional LNG-fueled, 15,000 TEU ships that will be built at the same shipyard

Taking on the next wave of fuels

The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé has enabled Bureau Veritas to fully round out our understanding of large LNG-powered ships. This complements our existing knowledge of large-scale LNG carriers; Arctic-going LNG-fueled vessels; ships with independent and membrane containment systems; and LNG bunkering vessels and small-scale gas carriers.

This experience has prepared our technical experts and naval architects to work with other alternative fuels, just as countries across Europe and Asia are developing ammonia and hydrogen. Both substances present challenges for safe handling, and hydrogen will require clever technical solutions for long-term storage and bunkering.

For Bureau Veritas, this means applying the skills gained in making LNG carriage and delivery safe for fuels with other chemical and technical challenges. We will use our knowledge to help clients advance the energy transition and drive the shipping industry forward.

Photo Credit: CMA CGM