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Largest LNG-powered container ship makes maiden calls in Northern Europe

Largest LNG-powered container ship makes maiden calls in Northern Europe
The vessel will have eight sister ships

The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the world’s largest container ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) has called at Hamburg and Southampton on its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe.

The vessel, which has a capacity of 23,000 teu, set a record when she left Singapore with a load of 20,723 full containers aboard before crossing the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal to reach the Mediterranean, and successfully continuing her journey to Northern Europe.

The ship is operating on the French Asia Line (FAL 1) weekly service, which comprises of 13 calls over 84 days.

Gary Jeffrey, CMA CGM UK CEO said: “The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE embodies our commitment to the planet. This vessel has been enhanced with the latest technologies and is the result of seven years of research and development.

“While guaranteeing the safety of our crew, it preserves air quality and will be part of our action against global warming. It significantly improves the environmental footprint of carried goods.

In November 2017, Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, decided to fit the vessel and her eight sister ships with an LNG-powered engine, a first in the shipping industry for vessels of their size.

The carrier views LNG as a key pathway to the energy transition in the shipping sector, forming one of the initial ways in which it plans to meet its target of being carbon-neutral by 2050.

LNG delivers a reduction of 99% in sulphur dioxide and fine particle emissions and of 85% in nitrogen oxide emissions, surpassing the requirements of current regulations.

An LNG-powered vessel can emit up to 20% less CO2 than conventional fuel-powered systems, although CMA CGM’s ships will deliver a 4% reduction.

This new class of ships, which measures 400 m in length with a 61-m overall beam and a height of 78 m, is the product of seven years’ research and development by French carrier’s experts.

The vessels feature path prediction, “smart eye” projection technologies, and augmented reality screens to assist the captain and crew.

They have a straight-shaped hull with an integrated bulb, redesigned propellers and rudder blades, along with the Becker Twisted Fin, which improves performance by optimising water flow and significantly reducing energy consumption.

In parallel, the vessels will use a smart system to manage the ventilation of the refrigerated containers carried in the holds.