French carrier CMA CGM and Shanghai International Port Group Company (SIPG) successfully completed liquified natural gas (LNG) bunkering of CMA CGM SYMI, a 15,000 TEU LNG-powered containership.

"The vessel, deployed on the PRX line connecting China and the U.S., was refuelled with LNG at Yangshan Port. Haigang Weilai, a new 20,000 m3 LNG bunker barge deployed by SIPG, provided CMA CGM SYMI with LNG by means of a ship-to-ship transfer while the containership carried out cargo operations," according to an official statement from CMA CGM.

SIPG will provide LNG bunkering service for CMA CGM's vessels sailing from China to the U.S. for 10 years at Yangshan port, according to an agreement signed between CMA CGM and SIPG in January, the first of its kind in China.

"With the completion of this joint project, our group is the first shipping line to bunker LNG in China, and the first to offer full LNG-fuelled container service between China and the U.S. West Coast," says Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO, CMA CGM Group. "By expanding the network of world-class ports offering LNG services, this bunkering marks an important step in the energy transition."

CMA CGM, since 2017, has invested in dual-fuel vessels that run on LNG, "avoiding up to 99 percent of atmospheric pollutant emissions. LNG-powered vessels are an important first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the engine installed on these vessels is capable of, and already is using BioLNG (-67 percent in CO₂ emissions). In the coming years, those engines will use synthetic methane (including e-methane). The CMA CGM Group's e-methane ready fleet consists of 26 vessels already in service and a total of 44 vessels by the end of 2024."

Gu Jinshan, chairman, SIPG, said: "Today is a historic moment. The Shanghai port's implementation of bonded LNG bunkering for ships on international voyages has been highly valued by the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government, and has received strong support from relevant departments. With the joint efforts of SIPG and CMA CGM, the first bunkering of bonded LNG for ships on international voyages in Shanghai Port was successfully completed today, which is also a first in China.

"It is of great significance to creating a world-class business environment, improving Shanghai's port service functions, and enhancing the comprehensive competitiveness of Shanghai as an international shipping centre. With the expansion of bonded LNG bunkering service for international voyage ships at Shanghai port, that will be conducive to promoting green and low-carbon development in the international shipping industry and contributing to the achievement of carbon neutrality goal."

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