First Ammonia-Ready Containership Delivered to CMB

first ammonia-ready containership
CMA CGM Masai Mara was built for CMB and becomes the first ammonia-ready containership (Quingdao Shipyard)

Published May 30, 2023 3:01 PM by The Maritime Executive

A containership reported to be the first ammonia-ready newbuild is deploying this week for the first time. Built in China and owned by CMB (Compagnie Maritime Belge), she is part of the Belgian company and Saverys family's efforts to accelerate the decarbonization of shipping.

Named the CMA CGM Masai Mara, the 77,000 dwt vessel is operating under charter to CMA CGM Group. She was built by the Qingdao Shipyard Co. and delivered on May 23 as the first of a class of six containerships being built under the contract. With a capacity of 6,014 TEU with 1,150 refer points, the vessels also qualify as the largest under construction at the shipyard and in Shandong Province, China.

Each of the ships is 787 feet long and according to the shipyard employs a new generation of wide-body design which will give them extra route flexibility. The beam is over 107 feet. They are powered by two MAN B&W-6G80ME9.2 dual-fuel engines. While they earned the designation of ammonia-ready, the report did not indicate what would be required to convert them to the fuel when it becomes available.

The shipyard also reports that the vessels were designed for low energy consumption and exceed the performance of other vessels of the same size. There was a high level of attention to their reducing their environmental impact while also providing an excellent loading capacity. They employ a high level of automation.


She is part of a class of six ships with a second vessel visible outfitting at the dock (Quingdao Shipyard)


The CMA CGM Masai Mara departed Qingdao on May 28 entering service of CMA CGM’s West Africa route. She was due to arrive today in Shanghai and then after additional ports in China proceed to Malaysia and Singapore. She will make a stop in Sri Lanka during the Indian Ocean crossing and proceed to Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, and Benin. CMA CGM also highlights the availability of dedicated feeder service from and to Douala, Cameroon, and Gabon via Cotonou, Benin.

For CMA these vessels are the latest step in their efforts with the Saverys family highlighting their belief that green hydrogen will play an important role in decarbonizing shipping, with hydrogen being used for small ships and inland vessels and green ammonia for larger vessels. The company has already been involved with the introduction of the first hydrogen-powered passenger ship (Hydroville), the first hydrogen-powered ferry (Hydrobingo), and the first hydrogen-powered CTV (Hydrocat). They have also ordered the construction of the first large, ammonia-ready dry bulkers.

The shipyard believes these ships are an important advancement for medium-sized regional containerships. They look to improve the construction processes and efficiency as they proceed with the class of ships. CMB highlights the launch of another vessel of the class named CMA CGM Khao Sok.

The yard had previously built a 206,000-ton bulk carrier in cooperation with Qingchuan Company and CMB. As they look to expand its operations, Qingdao Shipyard notes it recently signed a 4+4 construction contract for 82,000DWT bulk carriers with Norway’s Seatankers Group. Those ships are due for delivery in the second half of 2025.