CMA CGM Group and Shell have performed what they said was the first bio-LNG bunkering trial in Rotterdam.

Shell bunkered =Containerships Aurora, a 1400-TEU LNG-powered vessel, with a nearly 10% blend of low-carbon bio-LNG while calling Rotterdam. The vessel received around 219 tonnes of LNG, 20 tonnes of which were bio-LNG.

Safe and efficient bunkering operation was performed by the barge LNG London at the Rotterdam Short Sea Terminals. The operation was thus conducted by means of a ship-to-ship transfer while Containerships Aurora carried out cargo operations simultaneously.

LNG London bunkers Containerships Aurora with a bio-LNG mix. Image: CMA CGM

Shell Global Downstream general manager Tahir Faruqui said shell believes LNG is the first integral step to decarbonise the shipping sector.

“LNG offers immediate emissions reduction and has the potential to become a net zero emission marine fuel given the possible roles of Bio-LNG and synthetic LNG,” he said.

“We look forward to assessing how the supply chain might be scaled to enable LNG to become a viable carbon neutral marine fuel.”

CMA CGM Group vice-president, energy transition and bunkering Farid Trad said CMA CGM believes LNG is the first step towards achieving net-zero Carbon by 2050.

“LNG-powered vessels enable to reach, as of today, step two of this process which is the use of bio-LNG,” he said.

“The group is heavily investing in research and development alongside its industrial partners to identify the energy sources of the future with the aim of achieving total decarbonation and help have a positive impact on our customers’ carbon footprint and helping to protect the environment.”

Shell’s bio-LNG offering, combined with the dual-fuel gas engine technology developed by CMA CGM, has the potential to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions (including carbon dioxide) by at least 67 % well-to-wake (the complete value chain) compared to VLSFO.

Produced from agricultural and industrial food waste, bio-LNG has demonstrated the future potential of the bio-LNG supply chain. Results from the trial will give the maritime sector a vital demonstration into the scalability, sustainability and technical compliance of bio-LNG.

The CMA CGM Group’s dual-fuel gas vessels, which operate today with LNG and biomethane, already have the technical capability of using e-methane (instead of LNG), a source of carbon-neutral fuel. This e-methane ready fleet consists of 20 vessels already in service and a total of 44 vessels by the end of 2024.

In addition to this new milestone in the use of Bio-LNG for shipping, CMA CGM supported in 2021 the production of 25,000 tonnes of biomethane (equivalent to a year’s fuel consumption of four 1400-TEU LNG-powered ships), which in turn supports Shell to develop production capacity to further accelerate the availability to a wider market.