THIS major milestone in the construction of the world’s first LNG-powered ultra large containership was reached at the Shanghai Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard. It was marked by an event attended by Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of shipping line CMA CGM Group, French and Chinese officials, business leaders and customers.

The containership, CMA CGM Jacques Saade, is the first in a new fleet of nine French-flagged, 23,000-TEU, LNG-powered containerships.

LNG helps to reduce emissions of sulphur oxides and fine particles by 99%; nitrogen oxides emissions by up to 85%; and carbon dioxide emissions by around 20%.

These new vessels will join the group’s fleet in 2020 on the French Asia Line (Asia-Northern Europe) and will be registered in the French International Register, confirming the group’s commitment to operating under the French flag.


In addition, the nine newbuilds will feature a state-of-the-art bridge design, the world’s first to deliver four major innovations to assist the Captain and crew:

• A tactical display offering enhanced map views for more dynamic navigation briefings.
• A path prediction system optimised to display the ship’s predicted position in the next three minutes.
• A smart eye system projecting a bird’s-eye view of the ship’s surrounding area.
• Augmented reality screens offering the crew precise information on the ship’s rate of rotation, distance from the wharf and transverse speeds.

The first vessel in this new class of 23,000-TEU LNG-powered containerships, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE will also be equipped with a smart system to manage ventilation for the reefer containers carried in the hold.

The CMA CGM Jacques Saade and her sisterships, their hull forms have been hydrodynamically optimised. The bulb has been seamlessly integrated into the hull profile and the bow is straight. The propeller and rudder blade have also been improved, along with the Becker Twisted Fin.

These exceptionally large vessels (400 metres long and 61 metres wide) will be distinguished from the rest of the fleet by a special livery displaying an “LNG POWERED” logo, attesting to the major worldwide innovation that LNG propulsion represents on ships of this size.

“With the launching of the… ship we demonstrate that energy transition can be effectively successful in our industry if all the players work together,” Mr Saadé said.

“It paves the way to a global shipping approach where economic growth and competitiveness can coexist with sustainability and the fight against climate change.”

Here you can see a timelapse video of the construction of the CMA CGM Jacques Saade: