Sunday, September 2, 2018

Shipping: "Why CMA CGM ordered 'game changing' 22,000 TEU LNG-powered containerships"

I wasn't sure if construction had started on the nine-ship order CMA CGM placed last year with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (it has, see below) and saw this, from Seatrade Maritime News, April 30:
Last week Seatrade Maritime News sat down for a fireside chat with Nicolas Sartini, ceo of APL, part of the CMA CGM Group, about the game changing decision by the French container line to order nine LNG-fuelled, 22,000 teu capacity containerships. Below we publish some extracts from the conversation that took place at the Sea Asia LNG Forum in Singapore.
Q: What was the thinking behind CMA CGM to go for LNG powered vessels, than for example scrubbers or low sulphur?
A: It has been quite a long process, in fact the first discussions took place dating back to 2010, so it’s not exactly a new discussion. Then of course the sulphur global cap decision which takes place on 1 January 2020 and as a shipping company we at CMA CGM have been looking for various options, and these options are three-fold. One is using 0.5% low sulphur fuel which it is available but is considerably more expensive than heavy fuel oil. Two is scrubbers. Scrubbers are a relatively new technology as well, it has its merits and also its inconvenience. Then third is you can burn LNG.
Clearly it’s a new regulation and new environment where CMA CGM for newbuildings and we decided to go for what is considered to be the new technology which is LNG fuelled engines.
Q: How important is it for CMA CGM as company to be seen to taking a leadership position in terms of shipping, the environment and climate change?
The decision was very much an environmental and economic one. Always at CMA CGM at the forefront of environmental protection. We also consider that it’s a game changer and as a company we would be the first one to move on this scale.
Q: One of the issues for LNG power on containerships is the loss of cargo space due to the size of the fuel tanks compared to heavy fuel oil– how has CMA CGM been able to deal with this?
Technical experts have worked on this and minimised the loss of space so on a 22,000 teu vessel we are looking at around 200 teu reduction so its 1% in capacity. Clearly every teu counts but 1% of capacity was not really a major factor in the decision.
Q: CMA CGM is the first company to order LNG fuelled ultra-large containerships how does the company balance game changing first user advantage against the potential pitfalls of being the first to use a new system?
The technology already exists and there around 100 ships that are using it and probably another 100 that are being built as we speak. So the technology is existing and proven but not yet for 22,000 teu vessels - nine of them and coming pretty soon with the first one delivered in January 2020. In terms of the company and the project it is interesting to be the first mover. But there is the availability of the product [LNG], the availability of the infrastructure in ports, so the message we are trying to pass today is now its going to be large scale…. it’s very important that now the infrastructure is ready – we need it in Singapore, we need it in Rotterdam, in China and the US....

And from Maritime Executive, July 30:

Construction Starts on Two Record Ultra-Large Container Ships 
Construction of two 22,000 TEU ultra-large container ships with record-breaking beam began in China last week. The vessels are part of a nine-vessel deal that CMA CGM signed with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) last September.

The 220,000dwt vessels will be the first ultra-large container ships to burn LNG and will measure 400 meters (1,312 feet) in length, 61.3 meters (201.1 feet) in breadth and 33.5 meters (110 feet) in depth.

The vessels would be the first ultra-large container ships with a breadth of 61.3 meters, requiring ship-to-shore cranes with an outreach of 24 boxes wide, says Dirk Visser, analyst at Dynamar. Currently the maximum is 23 boxes wide across deck and the largest existing ship-to-shore crane is 26 wide. The vessels will also be the first ultra-large container ships with 12 boxes under deck and 12 boxes on deck (for part of the ship). The top rows would be for empty containers only, says Visser.
The LNG 18,600 cubic meter LNG tanks from GTT are expected to take the space of around 500 TEU and mark the first time a non-Type C containment system has been specified for an LNG bunker tank. Instead, GTT's membrane insulation system Mark III was chosen for space optimization. The Mark III membrane system is a cryogenic liner directly supported by the ship’s inner hull. This liner is composed of a primary metallic membrane positioned on top of a prefabricated insulation panel including a complete secondary membrane.

The ships will reportedly be propelled by the largest gas-burning dual-fuel engines ever built: Winterthur Gas & Diesel low-pressure, two-stroke 12X92DF engines. This 12-cylinder engine is rated 63,840kW at 80 rpm.

“MSC has 11 somewhat similar ultra-large container ships, of which, according to schedule, the first eight are to be delivered next year from July onwards, i.e. ahead of those of CMA CGM,” Visser says. “These vessels will use scrubbers instead of LNG and therefore have a higher capacity, an estimated 23,350 TEU.”...MORE
The Maritime Executive article was illustrated with a picture of the CMA CGM flagship, the 20600 TEU diesel/dual fuel CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery which has been called  "Le monstre des mers".

The new LNG-powered ships will be even larger.

Just amazing.