Artist impression of container ship built for CMA CGM – Credit Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries
Computer render of CMA CGM methanol vessel. Credit Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries

French carrier CMA CGM has ordered a dozen 13,000 teu methanol-fuelled containerships at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

Hyundai Samho’s holding company, Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, said in a Korea Exchange filing yesterday that a “European customer” had ordered newbuildings for delivery by December 2026. Industry sources indicate that CMA CGM is the client.

The total contract value is estimated at KRW2.53trn ($2.05bn).

The latest order would take CMA CGM’s orderbook to 101 ships, for over 972,000 teu, overtaking that of the Cosco group (including OOCL) and putting it just behind market leader MSC’s orderbook of over 1.8m teu.

The newbuildings are the second set of methanol-powered ships CMA CGM has ordered, increasing the total number of such vessels in the French carrier’s orderbook to 18.

Last August, CMA CGM commissioned six 15,000 teu methanol-powered ships at China’s Dalian Shipbuilding for delivery during H2 25. CMA CGM believes that there is no single fuel that can achieve the industry’s target of achieving zero-carbon in 2050, and that all eligible fuels should be explored.

At the Singapore International Bunkering Conference in October, CMA CGM’s VP for bunkering and energy transition, Farid Trad, said: “We’re investing in assets, ships, in efficient vessels that are LNG-propelled or methanol-powered. It has been well understood that LNG is a great transition fuel and this could lead to the production of bio-methane and e-methane.”

CMA CGM already has 31 e-methane ready ships in its fleet and it aims to have 77 by end-2026.

In September, CMA CGM launched a $1.5bn fund to expedite its move towards decarbonisation, by investing in industrial production of new fuels and low-emission transport solutions across the group’s businesses that include maritime, overland and air freight services.

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