French shipping giant CMA CGM is to equip its nine future containerships with engines using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as part of a commitment to become more sustainable.

The company says it will equip its nine future ships of 22,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit), delivered in 2020, with liquefied natural gas in a move that will make it the first shipping company to choose this type of motorisation, pursuing its commitment to environmental protection and ocean conservation.

Compared to the use of heavy fuel oil, the use of LNG will yield significant benefits, including up to 25% less CO2, 99% less sulphur emissions, 99% less fine particles, and 85% less nitrogen oxides emissions.

Moreover, the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which measures a ship's environmental footprint, is improved by 20% compared to ships only propelled by fuel oil.

By choosing LNG, the CMA CGM Group said it goes beyond current and future regulations that limit the sulphur cap to 0.5% in 2020. The group is also fully in line with the Paris Agreement and the ongoing discussions at the international level.

"We have made the bold decision to equip our future 22,000 TEUs vessels with a technology firmly focused on the protection of the environment," says Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group CEO. "By choosing LNG, CMA CGM confirms its ambition to be a leading force in the industry in environmental protection by being a pioneer in innovative and eco-responsible technologies."

Between 2005 and 2015, the group has reduced its CO2 emissions per container transported per kilometer by 50% and has set up an ambitious plan to further reduce its CO2 emissions by 30% between 2015 and 2025.