THE CMA CGM Group says it has begun a major program to build a new class of liquefied natural gas-powered vessels.

The CMA CGM Jacques Saade, the world’s largest containership powered by LNG and the CMA CGM Group’s flagship, recently began its first LNG bunkering operation in Rotterdam.

The Port of Rotterdam is to play a key role in refuelling the group’s LNG-powered fleet.

In November 2017, Rodolphe Saadé, chair and chief executive of the CMA CGM Group, ordered nine 23,000 TEU vessels with an LNG-power supply.

This fleet is the product of seven years of research and development efforts.

It is to operate on the group’s iconic French Asia Line connecting Asia with Europe.

Check out footage of the CMA CGM at Rotterdam. Credit: YouTube

“The energy transition is well and truly underway at CMA CGM,” Mr Rodolphe Saadé said.

“Our flagship is powered using liquefied natural gas. By 2022, our LNG-powered fleet will be 26 strong,” he said.

“Through this initiative we are directly addressing the environmental challenges we are faced with. As well as being reliable, LNG is the best available technology for significantly improving air quality and contributing towards tackling global warming.”