CMA CGM Creates $1.5B Fund to Accelerate Group’s Decarbonization

CMA CGM decarbonization fund
CMA CGM will invest $1.5 billion in a fund focusing on decarbonization for all aspects of its business (file photo)

Published Sep 4, 2022 5:12 PM by The Maritime Executive

The CMA CGM Group is creating a “Special Fund for Energies,” backed by a five-year, $1.5 billion commitment designed to accelerate its energy transition and achieve net zero by 2050. The mission of the fund is both to invest in projects to secure the supply of renewable energies for all the group’s businesses and to work with other corporations and researchers in seeking solutions to the challenges of decarbonization.

The fund, which will have a dedicated management team for its launch in October 2022, will focus on the industrial production of new fuels, as well as low-emission mobility solutions across the Group’s maritime, overland, and air freight shipping businesses, as well as its port and logistics services and CMA CGM’s offices. In announcing the new initiative, they set out a focus on renewable fuel production, accelerating decarbonization at the group’s onshore operations, supporting new projects, building a management plan for the group’s offices, and involving employees to participate with efforts such as work-from-home and changing travel patterns.

“This fund will enable us to make substantial investments in innovative projects to decarbonize our business,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group. “We have allocated the resources needed to accelerate our energy transition and that of the entire shipping and logistics industry.”

While the group has already taken steps to adopt LNG-fueled ships and support projects for alternative fuel production, the fund is tasked with driving the emergence of industrial-scale production facilities for biofuels, biomethane, e-methane, carbon-free methanol, and other alternative fuels, and ensuring that there will be a sufficient volume to meet the group’s needs.

CMA CGM highlighted that the fund’s efforts will build on its involvement in the Salamander Project which aims to produce 11,000 tons of biomethane per year starting in 2026. A partnership with Engie is targeting generating 200,000 tons of renewable gas per year by 2028 for CMA CGM and the shipping industry, while a biomethane production and liquefaction project with Titan, will produce up to 100,000 tons by 2025, with the possibility of doubling output by 2027. CMA CGM is also participating in the Jupiter 1000 project in Fos, France that is working to mass-produce low-carbon e-methane and provide solutions to the challenges of decarbonizing gas networks and managing the intermittent nature of certain renewables.

In addition to the shipping fleet, the fund will also seek to accelerate the decarbonization of port terminals, warehouses, and truck fleets operated by CMA CGM. Among the efforts are wind, solar, biomass-fueled, and hydrogen-fueled solutions. A transition plan will be developed for the trucking fleet focusing on electrification.

 The fund will also expand the group's work with research and development projects. They cited their current involvement in the Energy Observer 2, which is working on a prototype intra-regional container ship fueled by liquid hydrogen, as well as their decision to acquire a stake in Neoline, a prototype sail-powered cargo ship set to serve transatlantic routes by the end of 2024. CMA CGM said it is also supporting SeaOrbiter, a prototype marine research vessel and floating oceanographic laboratory designed by French architect Jacques Rougerie that is exploring pathways to the emerging blue economy. The CMA CGM Group’s R&D team will continue to optimize the design and propulsion of large containerships to reduce their fuel use while developing increasingly effective solutions to help make maritime, overland, and air freight shipping more energy efficient.