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CMA CGM-Led Coalition Studies Bio-LNG Fuel Supply at Marseille

French BioLNG plant located t port of Marseilles
CMA CGM's LNG vessels would use the BioLNG (port de Marseilles Fos)

Published Jul 5, 2021 5:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

As the next step in its efforts to enhance the sustainability of its shipping operations through the use of LNG technology, French shipping giant CMA CGM Group is joining in a project to develop France’s first BioLNG facility. The Coalition for the Energy of the Future announces the launch of the feasibility study for the first French project for BioLNG production within a large maritime port. 

The members of the coalition will work together to undertake the study for the feasibility of liquefied biomethane (BioLNG) production at Marseille’s major shipping port. This includes EveRé, operator of the multi-process household waste treatment plant commissioned by Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence, Elengy, a subsidiary of Engie, operating LNG terminals at Fos-sur-Mer, TotalEnergies, and the CMA CGM Group.

Produced by converting the biodegradable part of household waste from the Marseille Provence region, the BioLNG would be supplied for ships departing from the Grand Port Maritime in Marseille and would be used primarily for the CMA CGM Group’s LNG-powered vessels.

According to the coalition, the project forms a circular economic system, using the area’s household waste will help reduce local air pollutants (nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and fine particles). It would also improve air quality and the quality of life for people living in the region while supporting the energy transition in the shipping industry. Combining the BioLNG with the dual-fuel gas engine technology developed by CMA CGM has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 67 percent relative to well-to-wake VLSFO according to the partnership.

The project also fits into the local ecosystem, benefiting from the already existing infrastructure at the Grand Port Maritime, including EveRé’s waste methanization unit, Elengy’s LNG terminals, which will be used for the storage and delivery of the BioLNG, TotalEnergies’ bunker vessel, which will be located at the port as of January 2022, and CMA CGM’s fleet of LNG-powered vessels. 

The CMA CGM Group, Engie, and TotalEnergies have already been working together for several months as part of the Coalition for the Energy of the Future. Launched in late 2019, the Coalition for the Energy of the Future aims at accelerating the development of future energies and technologies to sustain new green mobility models and reduce the impact of transport and logistics on climate change.