Photo: © Eyewave

French carrier CMA CGM is in “serious discussions” with Yangzijiang Shipbuilding to build up to ten methanol-fuelled 24,000 teu containerships, The Loadstar has learned.

CMA CGM did not respond to The Loadstar’s request for comment, but well-placed sources in the shipbuilding industry confirmed the negotiations. While Yangzijiang has constructed feeder vessels for the carrier, it would be its first order for ULCVs and they could only be built at Jiangsu Yangzi Xinfu, as it is the only group yards that can construct boxships of that size.

The yard this year delivered a 24,000 teu scrubber-fitted pair, MSC Irina and MSC Loreto, for long-term charter to MSC and has four more on order. Currently, these two are the world’s largest box ships.

Yangzijiang, the largest non-state-owned Chinese shipbuilder, is apparently able to offer delivery from late 2025 to 2027.

CMA CGM already has 24 methanol-powered ULCVs on order: six at 15,000 teu at China’s Dalian Shipbuilding and Jiangnan Shipyard; and 12 13,000 teu vessels at Hyundai Samho in South Korea.

And last month, the carrier commissioned four more ships from China State Shipbuilding Corp. The transaction, which includes the six 15,000 teu mentioned above, is widely viewed as a state-to-state deal. CMA CGM chairman Rodolphe Saade signed the contract during French president Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to China.

CMA CGM, the third-largest liner operator now has around 3.45m teu of in-service capacity, with 96 ships totalling909,035 teu under construction. Its orderbook is also the third largest, behind MSC and Cosco. According to the French group’s 2022 annual report, it has invested $10.2bn to build 77 LNG-powered containerships, with 32 delivered so far.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.