First Car Carrier for CMA CGM Completes Construction in China
China Merchants’ Jinling Shipyard in Weihai delivered the CMA CGM Indianapolis on December 20, the first of four dual-fuel LNG-powered car carriers that will be operated by the French shipping company. CEVA Logistics, part of the CMA CGM Group, confirmed in May 2023 its plan to enter the segment as part of the French group’s efforts to expand operations through diversification.
The car carrier was handed over to Eastern Pacific Shipping of Singapore which will be chartering the vessel to CMA CGM. Three sister ships are due for delivery in 2024 and are part of a larger 16-ship order for EPS with Jinling. EPS, an Idan Ofer-led shipping firm, placed the initial order in 2021 for up to six LNG-fueled vessels and also has an order for up to 10 more of the car carriers to be built by China Merchant’s shipyard in Nanjing. Delivery of the vessels will be completed by 2026.
EPS highlights that the vessels that have a capacity for up to 7,000 units are the largest in the company’s vehicle transport fleet. They are also an advanced design built with a high-pressure dual-fuel system. Each vessel is equipped with two 2,000 cubic meter LNG gas storage tanks. Other energy-saving devices include a shaft generator and a lithium battery developed by Corvus with a 751 kWh ESS capacity. The vessels also have photovoltaic systems.
Each of the ships is approximately 656 feet (200 meters) in length and 18,600 dwt. They will operate at a speed of 19 knots. The ships have a total of 12 cargo decks, divided into fixed and movable types, which improves cargo loading and unloading efficiency and improves the economic benefits of ship operation.
CEVA said when it announced plans to launch the car carrier business that it would be taking four ships from EPS on 10-year charters. The company plans to focus on the Chia to Europe market. They highlighted that the four ships would give the company the capacity to transport up to approximately 140,000 vehicles annually.
EPS received the first of the new class of car carriers last month from the shipyard in Nanjing. The Lake Herman is similar in design and will be operated by Japan’s Mitsui Shipping Lines Motor Transport Division. A sister ship, Lake Annecy, was delivered in mid-December.
China Merchants has developed a leading role in the building of car carriers. Before the Lake Herman, the yard in Nanjing had already delivered five other 7,000-space car carriers in 2023. The Jinling Shipyard in Weihai highlights that it was able to deliver the CMA CGM Indianapolis 102 days ahead of schedule, “marking the yard’s entry into the fast lane of mass construction of PCTC ships.” It was their final ship delivery of 2023.