World’s Largest Container Ship CMA CGM Marco Polo Implements Best Eco-Friendly Solutions

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The CMA CGM MARCO POLO, the world’s largest container ship (16 020 TEU*), is equipped with the latest environmental technological innovations.

The CMA CGM Group has finalized the purchase of 50 000 bamboo eco-containers.

To mark a week celebrating sustainable development initiatives in France, CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping company and number one in France, reaffirms its long standing commitment to global environmental policy defined by Jacques R. Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group. The battle against climate change, the preservation of the oceans, and the ecological solutions offered to customers are an essential part of the Group’s activity and organization.

CMA CGM Marco Polo

CMA CGM implements concrete actions to minimize the impact of its activities on the environment, and develops new ecological solutions.

1/ Innovative ships using the latest environmental technologies:

The CMA CGM Marco Polo will soon be followed by the delivery of the CMA CGM Alexander Von Humboldt and the CMA CGM Jules Verne in May and June 2013, all three carrying the following equipment:

  • An electronically controlled engine which significantly reduces CO2 emissions
  • An “Exhaust Gas Bypass” system, which improves the energetic efficiency of the vessel when slow steaming, reducing CO2 emissions by 1.5% at low speeds.
  • A twisted leading edge rudder improving the hydrodynamics of the vessel (optimisation of the water flow), and significantly reducing energy expenditures as well as CO2 emissions.
  • A Pre-Swirl Stator® which straightens the water flow upstream from the propeller in order to improve its efficiency . Combined with the twisted leading edge rudder, this innovation optimizes the hydrodynamics of the vessel and makes it possible to reduce by 2 to 4% energy consumption of and atmospheric emissions.
  • An optimized hull design significantly improving the propulsion of the vessel into the water.
  • A ballast water treatment system, to preserve the biodiversity of the oceans.

Other innovations show the commitment of CMA CGM regarding its vessel fleet : the Fast Oil Recovery System, the emergency towing system, the trash compactor combined with the sorting of recyclables, and additional tanks for treating bilge, engine and grey waters.

2/ An alternative propulsion system for greener ships

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a promising fuel for the shipping industry. It is a clean fuel, very poor in sulfur, and producing significantly less nitrogen oxide and CO2 than other fuels. Moreover, gas is in abundant supply .

Furthermore, four-stroke engines, also known as « dual fuel » engines, are now widespread in the industry.

This is why the CMA CGM Group is working with shipyards and ranking agencies such as Bureau Veritas and DNV on several projects of LNG-fueled containerships. It is in this context that a joint project with Bureau Veritas and the shipyard DSME was carried out, leading to preliminary approval of the studies and specifications.

3/ Significant reduction of CO2 emissions

As part of its environmental policy, the CMA CGM Group is committed to reducing its emissions (CO2, sulfur), to limit the impact of its activities: In 2012, the CO2 performance of the Group improved by 6%. Since 2005, the CMA CGM Group has already reduced its CO2 emissions by 37% per container transported and per kilometer, making it the most impressive reduction in the history of the industry, and is aiming for a reduction of 50% by 2015. In order to cut back its sulfur emissions, CMA CGM chooses to use a fuel of a higher-quality than required by the current regulation, with sulfur concentration estimated at 2.57% (or lower in certain areas) instead of 3.5%.

The Group also decided to improve the energy efficiency of its fleet by reducing the speed of its vessels, allowing both a reduction of carbon emissions and of fossil fuel consumption of fuel

4/ Voluntary commitment to protect the environment

Perfectly illustrating the strong commitment of the Group towards the preservation of the environment, CMA CGM entered an ISO 14001 certification procedure for the management of the Group’s ships It is an environmental management system based on continuous improvement of environmental performance, protection of the environment and prevention of pollution. The CMA CGM Group is aiming for certification by the end of 2013.

The Group is involved in landmark initiatives such as the “Green Cargo Group”, of which CMA CGM has been a member since 2003, and whose goal is to draft measures to evaluate and improve freight transport.
The CMA CGM Group is also a member of the “Charte Bleue Armateurs de France”. By signing this charter, the Group confirms its commitment to prevent and manage pollution risks, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to manage garbage and waste effectively.
In addition, CMA CGM is a member of the “Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association”, and has signed a charter on the use of fuel with low sulfur content as the only fuel for all ships calling at Hong Kong.

5/ Ecological solutions

The CMA CGM Group is constantly innovating and is working on the development of eco-containers. On the Group’s largest ships, the use of such containers allows savings of up to one or two tons of fuel per day, representing a reduction of up to three to six tons of CO2 emissions.

  • Bamboo eco-containers: In 2005, CMA CGM was the first to develop and invest in bamboo-floored containers. These innovative units have a dual purpose: to limit the use of rare tropical wood species, while improving the container’s technical qualities. The Group has just finalized the purchase of 50 000 bamboo eco-containers with 25 000 Light Steel containers.
  • Light Steel containers: In 2008, the Group entered a new phase with the introduction of a fleet of the first Light Steel containers. They are manufactured from an extremely strong High Tensile steel which saves 550kg of the high-cube container’s tare weight, without compromising its structural qualities.
  • Low energy reefers: The Group owns 26 000 reefers (specialised containers for perishable goods, requiring energy and refrigerant gases) fitted with low energy motors which reduce by up to three times electricity and fuel consumption.
  • Eko-Flor containers: The floor of these containers contains no wood. It is made from synthetic resin and has many advantages: lighter weight, which reduces energy costs when transporting the container, complete resistance to all types of products (water, oil, odors, germs …)

Ludovic Gérard, CMA Ships Vice President, declares: “Ever cleaner ships will be a requirement in the near future for cargo transportation. All of our teams are committed to this process: both in the day to day management and continuous improvement process of the existing fleet, but also with the conception of tomorrow’s vessels. This qualitative approach is now acknowledged and appreciated by CMA CGM’s clients. I am very proud of the work done by our teams, which will be, I am sure, soon rewarded by the ISO 14001 certificate.”

*TEU: Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit

Reference & Image Credits: cma-cgm

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