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.”