CMA CGM has announced that the final vessel in a series of nine 23,000TEU vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), CMA CGM Sorbonne, joined its fleet.

The French shipping company has chosen the name “Sorbonne” for its new vessel to pay tribute to the world-renowned institution.

In November 2017, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, made the decision to equip this series of 23,000TEU container ships with LNG-powered engines, a first in the history of shipping for vessels of this size.

LNG is currently the best solution available to reduce shipping’s carbon footprint and protect air quality, said CMA CGM in its announcement, as the fuel allows for a 99% reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions, a 91% reduction in fine particles and a 92% reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Until the end of 2024, another 44 of the French carrier’s vessels will be powered by LNG, according to the company’s announcement, aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050.

CMA CGM added that the nine vessels in the series also feature new technologies including a control deck with the latest onboard digital technologies to assist the Captain and crew, in particular during port maneuvers, as well as a narrow bulbous bow, and a redesigned rudder and propeller to make them more hydrodynamic, thereby reducing energy consumption.

CMA CGM Sorbonne and its eight Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCVs) sister ships are registered in the French international register (RIF) and all the vessels in the series are named after iconic monuments and places in Paris: Champs-Élysées, Palais Royal, Louvre, Rivoli, Montmartre, Concorde, Trocadéro and Sorbonne.

“The launch of the fleet of nine 23,000TEU vessels between September 2020 and July 2021 has provided a concrete response against the backdrop of severe issues in logistics chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” noted the Marseille-based carrier.

Source: Container-News