CMA CGM Sorbonne joined CMA CGM’s fleet this week; it is the ninth 23,000-TEU, LNG-powered vessel to join the French shipping line’s fleet.

A ceremony was held for the ship at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding under CSSC in Shanghai in the presence of CMA CGM China CEO Ludovic Renou and the ship’s godmother, Jiang Dandan, a philosopher and artist who teaches at Jiaotong University in Shanghai, as well as at the Sorbonne in Paris.

CMA CGM said by choosing to name the ship CMA CGM Sorbonne, it was paying tribute to the world-renowned institution. The Sorbonne is a symbol of knowledge and of the excellence of teaching and academic research in France.

In November 2017, CMA CGM Group chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé made the decision to equip this series of 23,000-TEU containerships with LNG-powered engines.

CMA CGM maintains that LNG is currently the best way available to reduce shipping’s carbon footprint and protect air quality. The company said the fuel allows for a 99% reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions, a 91% reduction in fine particles and a 92% reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions, well beyond current regulatory requirements.

The company aims to have a fleet of 44 LNG-powered vessels by the end of 2024.

LNG propulsion technology, the company said, is one of the first steps towards achieving its target to become carbon neutral by 2050.

CMA CGM Sorbonne and its eight 23,000-TEU sister ships are registered in the French international register. The CMA CGM Jacques Saade, the first in this series of nine container ships, is the CMA CGM Group’s flagship. The other vessels in the series are named after iconic monuments and places in Paris, the French capital.