CMA CGM Unveils Pioneering LNG-Fueled Feeder Ship Class for Europe

feeder containership
CMA CGM Mermaid is the first of the pioneering new class of feeder ships (CMA CGM)

Published Feb 15, 2024 5:59 PM by The Maritime Executive


CMA CGM is starting the introduction of a new class of LNG-fueled feeder ships that they are calling a milestone both in the company’s fleet renewal program and an advancement in environmental performance that they hope will also facilitate a modal shift from road to sea. Also equipped to use biogas and e-methane in the future, the ships are part of a new generation that is extending the advancements in design and environmental performance to the feed ship segment of the market.

The first of a class of 10 ships, the CMA CGM Mermaid completed sea trials at the end of January and is due to depart shortly from Busan, South Korea for Northern Europe. Registered in Malta, the ship is 30,900 dwt and among the many unique design features, CMA CGM reports it decided to resize the new series with a ratio of 670 x 97 feet (204.29 x 29.6 meters) which improves the ship’s hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance. 

The class is rated with a 2,000 TEU capacity while CMA CGM highlights, that they are capable of transporting 45-foot containers which can be loaded onto trailers. They hope this will provide an efficient alternative to road transportation to encourage a modal shift in regional transport.

The design for the new class was developed in a unique partnership with CMA CGM working with Chantiers de l’Atlantique as well as Danish engineering firm Odense Marine Technique which further refined the design. GTT worked closely with the project for the design of the gas chain and storage tank. Each vessel has a capacity of 1,053 cbm. They are powered by a 12 MW MAN engine which also has an alternator coupled to the main propulsion engine to provide electric power while the ship is underway.


CMA CGM highlights the efficient design and new technologies to reduce emissions as part of its fleet renewal program (CMA CGM)


The exterior style of the vessels also shows the unique design approach. They are the first ships for CMA CGM with the superstructure including the accommodation block placed at the front of the ship, which the company says ensures better aerodynamic performance. It also improves the loading capacity and cargo handling capabilities versus the conventional feeder ship design. The new ships also have an inverted straight bow with an integrated bow bulb that also improves hydrodynamic performance. CMA CGM reports it will reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent per trip. They expect the ships will cut emissions by up to 20 percent versus conventional feeder ships.

Design work is also proceeding for one of the most powerful fuel cells aboard a ship, which they expect to install on the final ship of the class due for delivery in January 2025. It will be powered by hydrogen and have an energy capacity of 1 MW which will provide sufficient power to make the ship zero emission when berthed.

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea received the order to build the ships in late 2021. Between April and July, CMA CGM reports the first six ships will join its Intra-Northern Europe line sailing in the Baltic and to Scandinavian ports from its hubs in Hamburg and Bremerhaven. Between the end of September and November, the four additional ships will begin to join the intra-Mediterranean routes.

CMA CGM highlights it is investing more than $15 billion in fleet renewal as part of its move toward net zero carbon operations. The group has already deployed more than 30 ships, about five percent of its 620 vessel fleet, powered by alternative fuels. By 2028, the group says it will have nearly 120 ships that will be powered with low-carbon fuels.