CMA CGM starts biofuel bunkering trial in Singapore, 32 container ships invovled in the project
The French shipping group CMA CGM, with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), has launched biofuel bunkering in Singapore as part of its efforts to extend the wider adoption of the clean energy.
CMA CGM’s 10,640 TEU container ship, APL Paris, was the first of the company’s vessels on trial to be bunkered with biofuel in Singapore on 23 February.
Ship-to-containership biofuel bunkering was conducted alongside simultaneous container loading and discharging operations before the vessel plies the Asia-South America rotation of the Pacific East Coast 2 service, according to a statement.
CMA CGM believes that with this new global trial, it keeps moving forward to make shipping and logistics a more sustainable industry and reach its goal to go beyond carbon neutrality and become a net zero carbon company by 2050.
The six-month global trial will involve up to 32 container vessels running on different blends of biofuel to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in order to obtain a trend analysis, which will be shared with the respective flag administration including MPA.
Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA, commented, “As the world’s top bunkering and transshipment hub port, MPA is happy to facilitate APL Paris biofuel bunkering in Singapore. We will continue to work with industry partners like CMA CGM to promote the use of greener marine fuels and drive the transition towards sustainable shipping.”
Some of these vessels will be fuelled in Singapore with B24 biofuel, which comprises 24% used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) in the advanced biofuel blended with conventional fuels, according to the Marseille-headquartered carrier.
The vessels on trial will range from 2,200 to 10,640 TEU capacity and will serve several trade lanes including Asia-South America, Asia-Africa, Asia-Oceania, Asia-Mediterranean, North Europe–Oceania and North Europe-North America.
“This global biofuel trial and bunkering in Singapore advances CMA CGM’s energy transition, paving the way for biofuel to scale up as one of the solutions to decarbonise shipping,” pointed out CEO of CMA CGM Asia Pacific, Stéphane Courquin, who added, “With the use of biofuels being assessed over multiple key trade lanes and onboard ships of various sizes, we shall gather a comprehensive data set to verify the biofuel’s performance as a marine fuel and gain insights into facilitating a wider adoption of biofuel as a clean fuel.”
CMA CGM explained in its statement that B24 biofuel can reduce carbon emissions by 21%, while completely compatible with modern ship engines, this “drop-in” fuel option can be run on all vessel types without requiring technical, safety or design adjustments, enabling ships to quickly start limiting their emissions. Made from used cooking oil collected from food manufacturers, F&B businesses and households, the conversion of waste cooking oil into biofuel for transportation promotes a circular economy, providing a new and environmentally beneficial use for consumed oil.
CMA CGM added it has chosen to invest in dual-fuel vessels that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), avoiding up to 99% of atmospheric pollutant emissions. LNG is an important first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the engine installed on these vessels is capable of using BioLNG (reducing 67% in CO₂ emissions), noted the company, which added that in the next years, those engines will use synthetic methane (including e-methane).
The CMA CGM Group confirmed it already has a fleet of 25 “e-methane ready” vessels in service and will have a total of 44 such vessels by the end of 2024.