French PM signals nationwide LNG bunkering intent

France looks set to take a leading role in the provision of LNG to ships with the government coming squarely behind leading liner CMA CGM’s pioneering moves into the alternative fuel.

CMA CGM has just ordered nine 22,000 teu ships which will be powered by LNG when they deliver two years from now.

France will modify regulations on LNG to allow refuelling to take place at ports, and consider changing fiscal rules on amortising investments in new ships or engine technology, the nation’s prime minister Edouard Philippe said in a speech to a maritime conference in Le Havre earlier this week.

To date, Zeebrugge in neighbouring Belgium has led the way in gearing up to offer LNG to ships in the north Europe range.

“We have to use this (energy) transition to differentiate ourselves on the market – in transport and in port services,” Philippe said. “We want French ports to be equipped (…) with LNG installations and also the capacity to electrically charge ships.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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