LNG champion CMA CGM orders its first methanol-fuelled ships

Methanol as a leading contender for a fuel of the coming decades has been given a huge fillip with news that a champion of LNG has ordered its first methanol ships.

France’s CMA CGM, to date the most heavily invested shipping company in the world when it comes to LNG propulsion, has made its first methanol orders, following in the footsteps of Denmark’s Maersk.

The Marseille-headquartered firm has revealed in its Q1 report further fleet expansion, which takes its orderbook to 69 ships. As well as confirming orders for 10 smaller LNG dual-fuelled ships during its Q1 presentation, CMA CGM also revealed it has signed for six 15,000 teu dual-fuel methanol-powered vessels, which will join the fleet by the end of 2025.

“This first order for methanol-powered vessels is in line with CMA CGM’s strategy to expand its energy mix with the goal of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2050. CMA CGM is thus accelerating its decarbonization trajectory by investing massively in gas and methanol fuels. The two sectors will be complementary for decarbonizing shipping industry in the years to come,” the company stated in a release.

Maersk set the ball rolling among containerlines over the past year with a series of orders for methanol-powered ships. X-Press Feeders and Danaos are among others who have followed suit.

In a sign of the fuel going mainstream, S&P Global Platts started rolling out daily methanol bunker fuel price assessments last September.

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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