Corporate Information

World premiere: bunkering of a new-generation LNG-powered container ships begins in Rotterdam

  • A pioneering decision to acquire a new generation of 26 liquefied natural gas-powered containerships
  • Bunkering of the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the world’s largest containership powered by LNG, has started in Rotterdam.
  • LNG, an energy with a bright future, helps to preserve air quality, by delivering a reduction of 99% in sulfur dioxide and fine particle emissions and of 92% in nitrogen oxide emissions, and can cut CO2 emissions by up to 20% compared with fuel-powered systems.


The CMA CGM Group has embarked on a major program to build a new class of liquefied natural gas-powered vessels, as part of its drive to take the shipping industry’s energy transition to the next level. The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the world’s largest containership powered by LNG and the CMA CGM Group’s flagship, is today beginning its first LNG bunkering operation in Rotterdam. The Port of Rotterdam will play a key role in refueling the Group’s LNG-powered fleet, which operates regular services between Asia and Europe.

A fleet of 26 LNG-powered containerships by 2022

In November 2017, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, made the visionary decision to order nine 23,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) with an LNG power supply, a first in the history of the shipping industry for vessels of this size. This pioneering fleet is the product of seven years of research and development efforts. It will operate on the Group’s iconic French Asia Line (FAL 1) connecting Asia with Europe. The line provides a weekly service comprising 13 calls over 84 days. These 9 vessels will be registered on the International French Register (RIF).

Following this record order for nine 23,000 TEU containerships, including the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE and the recently delivered CMA CGM CHAMPS ELYSEES, the CMA CGM Group now operates seven LNG-powered containerships and will have a fleet of 26 containerships of various sizes by 2022 (see appendix for list and details).

LNG, a visionary decision to preserve air quality and to adopt an energy source with a bright future

LNG is currently the state-of-the-art industry solution for preserving air quality. It delivers a reduction of 99% in sulfur dioxide and fine particle emissions and of 85% in nitrogen oxide emissions, surpassing the requirements of current regulations. LNG also provides an initial response to the challenge of tackling climate change. An LNG-powered vessel also emits up to 20% less CO2 than fuel-powered systems. GNL Technology also allows the use of organically-produced biomethane made from agricultural and domestic waste. Biomethane is a renewable energy that emits up to 80% less CO2 compared with conventional fuel. During the first LNG bunkering of the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé, the use of biomethane – via the purchase of Guarantee of Origin certificates for 13% of the total fuel delivered – significantly reduced the carbon footprint of the LNG used in this operation. LNG is a decisive step towards CMA CGM Group's target of being carbon-neutral by 2050. This decision demonstrated the CMA CGM Group’s resolve to champion the energy transition in the shipping sector.

World first: start of the largest LNG bunkering operation ever

CMA CGM is carrying out in Rotterdam the largest bunkering operation ever undertaken for a containership. The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, which has an 18,600 cubic meter tank, will be refueled with LNG while port handling operations remain underway. Once bunkering is complete, she will continue on her maiden voyage, which began after she joined the fleet on September 22.

CMA CGM is establishing a world-class new LNG hub for the shipping industry in Rotterdam

CMA CGM is seeking to establish a genuine center of excellence in LNG for the shipping industry. Rotterdam port is now becoming a world-class hub for LNG, which will take the shipping industry’s energy transition to the next level. The Port of Marseille Fos is also set to become a gas bunkering hub for the CMA CGM Group’s vessels.

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, commented:

The energy transition is well and truly underway at CMA CGM. As of today, our flagship is powered using Liquefied Natural Gas. By 2022, our LNG-powered fleet will be 26 strong. Through this initiative we are directly addressing the environmental challenges we are faced with. As well as being reliable, LNG is the best available technology for significantly improving air quality and contributing towards tackling global warming.