CMA CGM places orders for 16 more container ships of dual-fuel (LNG) and with six of them using methanol, according to Alphaliner
CMA CGM continues its fleet expansion and modernization campaign with orders for a further 16 container ships. French Line’s most recent commitment comprises four 23,000+ teu LNG dual fuel ‘megamax’ class ships, six 15,000 teu methanol dual fuel ‘maxi-neo-panamax’ class units, and six compact vessels’ C7K’ of around 7,900 teu with bi-fuel LNG propulsion, states Alphaliner.
According to the report, rumors that CMA CGM was interested in additional megamax vessels surfaced in March, but the number of vessels the carrier was considering remained unclear. At the time, ships of this size and with dual-fuel specifications were priced at around $230m per unit.
With four ships ordered, CMA CGM will be able to fully staff its flagship Asia – Europe ‘FAL1’ service with a homogeneous fleet of LNG-powered megamaxes. So far, this cycle is completed in 13 weeks with a mixed fleet of nine 23,112 TEU ships, supported by three conventionally powered 20,954 TEU ships and a single 17,859 TEU unit.
Furthermore, they announce that CMA CGM has not yet disclosed the shipyard for the four new megamax buildings, but the vessels are likely to come from CSSC Group’s Hu-dong Zhonghua and/or Jiangnan shipyards. Deliveries are believed to be due in 2025.
For its sextet of 15,000 teu vessels, believed to be of neo-panamax dimensions, CMA CGM has opted for a different fuel and the vessels will be built as dual fuel methanol vessels.
It is recalled that Maersk was the first carrier to opt for methanol on a broader scale, when it placed orders for twelve of these vessels from the Korean builder Hyundai Heavy Industries. Maersk ordered eight of the ships in August 2021 and expanded the series with another four ships from the same yard in January. Unlike most ships in the 15,000+ TEU size range, Maersk has opted for designs that are too wide to transit the Panama Canal. In addition to these, Maersk will also take delivery of a 2,100 TEU methanol feeder next year.
With recent orders for six 15,000 TEU ships, CMA CGM is therefore the second major industry to support methanol as an alternative marine energy source and the first to diversify its future bunker portfolio into LNG, methanol and ammonia. for which some of the smaller shipping companies will design future tonnage.
CMA CGM has not yet disclosed its choice of shipyard for the six Neopanamax vessels. While some looked to CSSC Group, which has already built an extensive series of 15,000-teu MARIC-designed ships for the French line, brokerage sources claim that CMA CGM’s methanol-powered ships will come from Korea. A neopanamax-sized methanol-ready ship would currently cost in the region $175 million for delivery in 2025.
Finally, CMA CGM has also ordered six 7,900 teu ‘C7K’ class compact vessels from a yet-to-be-disclosed shipyard, believed to be in Korea. Ships of this class were last ordered in April for a price of $134 million. Depending on specifications and shipyard choice, CMA CGM is likely to pay $130-$136 per unit for delivery in 2025.
In total, the 16 orders have added 187,000 teu to CMA CGM’s vessel portfolio. French Line’s confirmed order book, including owned and chartered tonnage, now stands at 60* ships and ca. 774,000 TEUs. However, Alphaliner believes the carrier has already closed undisclosed charter and resale deals that will take these figures to around 70 ships and 840,000 TEUs, once confirmed. More details on CMA CGM’s most recent wave of orders are expected to be available soon, finalizes Alphaliner.
Hyundai delivers the CMA CGM ARCTIC (15,264 teu)
Alphaliner confirms that the South Korean builder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries delivered the 15,264 TEU container ship WHITLEY BAY to Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) last weekend.
Upon delivery, the new LNG dual-fuel vessel immediately joined a long-term contract with CMA CGM, for whom the vessel will be marketed under the name CMA CGM ARCTIC.
The CMA CGM ARCTIC is a maxi-neo-panamax (M-NPX) vessel with a length of 366.00 m and a beam of 51.00 m. Powered by a MAN-B&W 11 G90ME-C10.5-GI dual-fuel main engine, the ship is capable of speeds of around 22 knots.
The new ship is the 16th unit in a series of at least 17 M-NPX sister ships that EPS will receive from Hyundai Heavy and Hyundai Samho Heavy shipyards for CMA CGM. Technically, the series is divided into three subtypes, starting with five 15,052 teu conventionally powered units, three 14,812 teu LNG units, and eight 15,264 teu “optimized entry” units.
The last EPS ship for CMA CGM, to be named CMA CGM PRIDE, will be delivered in August.
In March 2021, EPS sold two of the five conventional sisters, CMA CGM MEXICO and CMA CGM CHILE built in 2019, to Seaspan with the CMA CGM contracts attached.
Hyundai’s second-generation 15,000+ teu type M-NPX is the most popular design in this category of vessels with 46 units in the water or on order so far.
Lastly, Alphaliner informs that EPS will receive ten more LNG ships for MSC and MSC has ordered six more LNG units. Plus four conventional sisters will go to Cido for MSC charters. Then there are six Zodiac-owned conventional sisters chartered to Ocean Network Express and MSC.