French liner CMA CGM, the most heavily invested shipping company in LNG propulsion in the world, is making plans to ensure its fleet remains on a green track, tying up with compatriot energy firm ENGIE to try and develop industrial-scale production and distribution of synthetic methane and bioLNG.
An initial project to produce liquefied biomethane (bioLNG) for shipping has already been launched by both groups at the Port of Marseille, in partnership with Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence and TotalEnergies.
ENGIE is leading further synthetic methane production industrial projects in which CMA CGM will have the possibility to invest, including by means of multi-year purchase commitments. These projects will harness various technologies, such as pyro-gasification or methanation using green hydrogen and captured CO2.
CMA CGM currently has 20 so-called e-methane ready vessels equipped with dual-fuel engines and running on LNG and will have 44 such ships in its fleet buy the end of 2024.
Biomethane can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 67% compared to very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) on a well-to-wake basis, according to data from ENGIE, which also claims synthetic methane will eliminate the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions.
CMA CGM and ENGIE have also been working together for several months as part of the Coalition for the Energy of the Future launched in late 2019 at the Assises de l’Économie de la Mer conference by Rodolphe Saadé and supported by French President Emmanuel Macron.