A DIGITAL naming ceremony held in both Shanghai and Marseilles welcomed the vessel Jacques Saade to the CMA CGM fleet, the first 23,000TEU vessel to be powered by liquefied natural gas.

The behemoth was named after CMA CGM founder Jacques Saadé, a maritime statesman who died two years ago.

Blessed by Father Francis Fang, the vessel was officially named by her godmother, Tanya Saadé Zeenny, who uttered the words “May God bless this ship and all who will sail on her”.

The LNG-powered engines reflected a decision of CMA CGM chief executive Rodolphe Saadé in late 2017 to opt for cleaner energy.

“The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé embodies our commitment to the planet,” Mr Saadé said.

“This vessel has been enhanced with the latest technologies and is the result of seven-years of research and development,” he said.

“While guaranteeing the safety of our crew, it preserves air quality and will be part of our fight against global warming.”

Mr Saadé said the new vessel “significantly improves the environmental footprint of carried goods. We have taken a big step forward”.

Check out footage of this mighty new vessel via a CMA CGM video. Credit: YouTube

“We need to go further to build transport that is even more respectful of the environment,” he said.

According to CMA CGM, this ship is the result of seven years of research and development and is one of nine such vessel set to join their fleet.

They will bear the names of landmark Parisian monuments and other renowned venues and institutions from throughout the French capital (Champs Elysées, Palais Royal, Louvre, Rivoli, Montmartre, Concorde, Trocadéro, and Sorbonne).

The CMA CGM Jacques Saade is to start its maiden voyage as of 23 September on the French Asia Line, CMA CGM Group’s line between Asia and Northern Europe. Its rotation will lead it to the ports of Pusan in South Korea; Tianjin, Ningbo, Shanghai and Yantian, in China; Singapore; Southampton, Dunkirk, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Algeciras in Europe; and Port Kelang in Malaysia.