CSSC Begins Delivery on New Class of LNG Boxships to CMA CGM

CMA CGM containership
CMA CGM Bahia will be the largest dual-fuel containership in service to South America (CSSC)

Published Dec 8, 2023 9:37 AM by The Maritime Executive


Delivery has begun on a new class of LNG-fueled containerships for CMA CGM which is reported to be a more efficient generation of vessels. China’s Hudong-Zhonghau Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of CSSC, delivered the CMA CGM Bahia on December 7 as the shipyard looks to solidify its leadership in building LNG-fueled containerships. 

CSSC points out that they had previously built the larger 23,000 TEU class for the French company and now expanded the relationship to the first 13,000 TEU LNG-fueled containerships. They were part of a 2021 order that included this class of six ships. The vessels were designed by CSSC’s research institute to represent a further advancement in LNG technology.

The new class of ships will become the largest dual-fuel containerships operating on the South America route, and also the largest CMA CGM has deployed on the route. The service originates in China with stops in Hong Kong and Singapore before proceeding to Rio de Janeiro and other ports in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. The route calls at 17 ports with weekly sailings and a 91-day duration for the voyages.

The CMA CGM Bahia is 145,650 dwt with a maximum nominal capacity of 13,200 TEU. The vessel is 1,102 feet (336 meters) in length with a 167-foot (51-meter) beam. It is designed to operate at a service speed of 21 knots. The vessel is registered in Malta.

Among the advancements in the design being highlighted by CSSC is the first main engine in CSSC’s brand of engines and it is equipped with a new generation of intelligent exhaust gas control. They are saying it will be able while the vessel is operating in gas mode to reduce methane escape by 50 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions during operations by more than 28 percent. The vessel also has a 14,000 cbm LNG tank and Mark III containment system.


CMA CGM is adding a larger wind deflector to improve fuel efficient on its containerships (CSSC)


Other features to improve its efficiency include incorporating a large wind deflector on to the bow of the ship. CMA CGM began testing the new size and shape of the deflector earlier this year on existing vessels. CSSC reports for the new ship it will reduce fuel consumption by two to four percent. The vessel also has an energy-saving device that can improve propeller propulsion efficiency. It will further reduce energy consumption by about one and a half percent.

CMA CGM has been at the forefront of the adoption of LNG-fueled propulsion for container shipping. The carrier recently reported that it has already invested more than $17 billion in a fleet of nearly 120 LNG- and methanol-powered ships to be delivered by 2027. They highlight that the LNG vessels can also be operated on bio/e-methane, the new green equivalent of current LNG.

Hudong-Zhonghau Shipbuilding has also floated three additional sisterships in the class, the CMA CGM Buzios, CMA CGM Paraty, and recently the CMA CGM Sao Paolo. The shipyard highlights that it also has an order from CMA CGM for four additional optimized versions of the 23,000 TEU dual-fuel vessels.