French liner major CMA CGM has ordered the construction of 22 containerships worth around $2.3bn, making the deal the largest single containership order in China’s shipbuilding history.
The orders are spread across three Chinese shipbuilders, Jiangnan Shipyard, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, and Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, all subsidiaries of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).
The contract covers the construction of 6 dual-fuel, LNG-powered, 15,000 TEU containerships, set to be built by Jiangnan Shipyard, followed by 6 dual-fuelled, LNG-powered 13,000 TEU boxships to be built by Hudong Zhonghua.
The remaining ten 5,500 containerships that will be powered by VLSFO will be constructed by Beihai Shipbuilding.
These vessels are expected to join the group’s fleet between 2023 and 2024, CMA CGM said. The French liner major added that the order aims at accommodating market growth.
CMA CGM has already tapped CSSC for the construction of dual-fuel containerships. Namely, in 2017 CMA CGM entrusted Jiangnan Shipyard and Hudong Zhonghua to build nine 23,000 TEU, LNG-powered giants.
Earlier this week, CMA CGM welcomed the seventh newbuild from the series, namely CMA CGM Concorde.
The transition to LNG as a marine fuel is part of the company’s strategy to cut emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050.
The company said earlier that it plans to own a fleet of 32 LNG-powered container ships by the end of 2022.
The latest order will push CMA CGM’s dual fuel fleet to almost 40 LNG-powered containerships.