CMA CGM chooses gas for ULCCs

WinGD 12X92DF engines will power the nine newbuilds, each 6,000 teu bigger than the pictured 'Marco Polo' WinGD 12X92DF engines will power the nine newbuilds, each 6,000 teu bigger than the pictured 'Marco Polo'

Winterthur Gas & Diesel's X-DF dual-fuel two-stroke technology will be used for nine CMA CGM 22,000 teu newbuilds.

The ship operator announced that the vessels, due for delivery in 2020, will run primarily on LNG with a small fraction of oil used as a pilot fuel. The choice of LNG will reduce the vessels’ Energy Efficient Design Index by around 20% compared with diesel-fuelled ships and, with a 99% reduction in SOx emissions, ensure compliance with the IMO’s 0.5% global sulphur cap.

The Winterthur-based engine developer would power the vessels with twelve-cylinder, 920mm bore 12X92DF main engines – weighing 2,140 tonnes and each delivering a total power output of between 46.5MW and 63.84MW.

Rodolphe Saadé, CEO, CMA CGM Group, said: “We have made the bold decision to equip our future 22,000 TEUs vessels with a technology firmly focused on the protection of the environment. By choosing LNG, CMA CGM confirms its ambition to be a leading force in the industry in environmental protection by being a pioneer in innovative and eco-responsible technologies.”

Rolf Stiefel, vice president of sales and marketing, WinGD, added that the vessels would “change the future of the container vessel design”.

Meanwhile, GTT has been chosen by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co and CMA CGM to design cryogenic NG fuel tanks for the nine ships. The yard group, a member of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation conglomerate, is responsible for building five of the vessels and all nine fuel tanks while Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co will build the remaining four ships.

The fuel tanks will each have a capacity of 18,600m3 per ship. The membrane insulation system Mark III developed by GTT has been chosen to allow maximum use of cargo capacity.

Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT, said: "This order is a game-changer. It marks the adoption of clean fuels by the container ships' industry. GTT is proud to work side by side with CMA CGM and Hudong-Zhonghua within this revolution."

Bureau Veritas (BV) has been awarded the responsibility for classification of the containerships. It noted that the decision for the nine ships to be fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been carefully considered. Bureau Veritas has been closely involved in feasibility studies, working with the owner, builders and technology providers.

The bunker capacity of the vessels – enough for an Asia-Europe round trip - represents a significantly higher volume than has been required in the LNG fuelled ship market so far, and Bureau Veritas has investigated the feasibility of the design together with China State Shipbuilding Corporation and GTT.

Philippe Donche-Gay, president, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, said: "This is a breakthrough order for gas fuelled shipping – both in scale and in the use of a membrane containment system."

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