The port of Marseilles is set to become a new hub for the supply of LNG as a fuel for the liner trades after French carrier CMA CGM and fuel supplier Total signed a 10-year agreement.

Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions has agreed to supply some 270,000 tonnes of LNG a year over 10 years at Marseille-Fos to power CMA CGM’s new generation 15,000 teu LNG-powered containerships that will operate on the Asia-Mediterranean trades from 2021.

Total will position an LNG bunker barge at the French port and “a complementary bunkering solution in Singapore”.

Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and chief executive of CMA CGM, said: “Liquefied Natural Gas is the only energy currently available, and reliable, to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

“The choice of LNG to power our ships requires the complete adaptation of the entire energy supply chain and infrastructure. By choosing Marseille-Fos as a refuelling port for our 15,000 teu vessels, we are bringing the French container port into this major energy transition.”

Patrick Pouyanné, Total chief executive, added: “Total is committed to working with its customers to offer them more environmentally friendly marine fuels and thus contribute positively to the sustainable evolution of maritime transport, particularly in the Mediterranean basin.”

CMA CGM also has a series of 23,000 teu LNG-powered ships under construction, which are set to enter the Asia-North Europe trade. The first, the CMA CGM Jacques Saade, was launched in September and followed a strategic procurement contract between CMA CGM and Total to bunker LNG-powered vessels on that route.

Last month, Total launched its first LNG supply ship to supply CMA CGM’s LNG-powered vessels in Rotterdam.

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