- Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, called on President Emmanuel Macron to support "an international coalition for the energy transition of the transportation sector" focused on developing competitive, less carbon-intensive energy sources, in an address at the French Maritime Economy Conference on Tuesday.
- President Macron agreed to the proposition and the initiative's first forum is set to be held during the World Conservation Congress in Marseilles, France in June 2020.
- The first project, "Eco-Energetic Transition of the Maritime Sector," will be an industry-wide inventory of technologies and near-term progress made on eco-friendly ship propulsion conducted by the French Maritime Cluster, the French Environment & Energy Management Agency, Bureau Veritas and CMA CGM. It will be presented at the 2020 meeting and the findings will guide the coalition's future work.
As the IMO 2020 deadline approaches, CMA CGM announced its commitment in 2017 to transition its fleet to liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"LNG reduces sulphur oxide and fine particulate emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85% and CO2 emissions by around 20%," according to the carrier. It plans to have 20 LNG-powered vessels on the water by 2022, starting with new ships that will set sail on its Mediterranean-Asia route by 2021, according to a video announcement.
CMA CGM reports its sustainability efforts reduced emissions per container by 50% between 2005 and 2015, and it has a goal to reduce that figure by another 30% by 2025.
In addition to pursuing LNG, CMA CGM has been testing biofuels. It recently concluded a pilot partnership with Ikea Transport & Logistics Services and the GoodShipping Program to test a Heavy Fuel-Oil equivalent (HFO) biofuel made from vegetable oil and recycled forest products. The biofuel was mixed with traditional maritime fuels to power CMA CGM ships on major routes.
According to a press release, the biofuel offers an 80% to 90% well-to-propeller reduction in carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel equivalents.
CMA CGM's competitor, Maersk has also been pursuing fuel alternatives as part of its push for carbon-neutral operations by 2050. It recently announced work on electric battery propulsion and LEO fuel, a blend of ethanol and lignin, a plant polymer.