SHIPPING company CMA CGM has joined forces with the world’s first hydrogen-powered vessel, Energy Observer, to speed up the development of innovative environmental solutions.

CMA CGM and Energy Observer R&D experts will pool their expertise and knowledge and it is expected to lead to industrialisation of new concrete energy solutions tested onboard this “floating smart grid”.

Energy Observer, formerly a legendary race boat, is now an experimental platform for tomorrow’s energy sources, which is undertaking a round-the-world-trip.

The partnership aims to experiment, test and develop energy solutions based on hydrogen, solar, tidal and wind power.

Hydrogen is a limitless energy source that generates up to four times more energy than coal, three times more than diesel. The green hydrogen used by Energy Observer is made from seawater using onboard renewable sources of electricity (solar, wind and hydropower). Producing and burning hydrogen does not result in any greenhouse gas or fine particle emissions.


CMA CGM will also create the Energy Observer Village will be made from containers converted and transported by CMA CGM with the large-scale operational support from its network around the world. It will travel the globe, presenting the latest technological innovations to the largest possible number of people and raising awareness about ecological transition issues among all audiences.

Tanya Saadé Zeenny, executive officer of the CMA CGM Group, said, “Our partnership will mobilise all of CMA CGM’s know-how. Our teams of engineers and R&D experts are already working and our network around the world will be strongly mobilised to ensure the logistical support of Energy Observer’s worldwide ports of call”.

Victorien Erussard, Energy Observer’s founder and captain, said,  “With CMA CGM’s huge experience in the shipping industry, our respective engineers and our technology partners, we have every chance of achieving our goals, which are ambitious but increasingly realistic.

“We are all driven by the same passion for technology and the desire to develop alternative energy solutions. The sea is something we can all share, and it is time to share our skills in order to protect the ocean, our favourite environment.

“We are delighted to be joining the 500-plus vessels in the CMA CGM fleet.”