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Shipping firm to invest $2b in marine, logistic businesses

By Adaku Onyenucheya
16 November 2022   |   3:46 am
French shipping group, CMA CGM, has disclosed plans to invest $2.12 billion to fast-track the use of renewable fuels for the company’s marine, air cargo and trucking businesses.

French shipping group, CMA CGM, has disclosed plans to invest $2.12 billion to fast-track the use of renewable fuels for the company’s marine, air cargo and trucking businesses.

The shipper said the investment, which will be done over the next five years, will accelerate its energy transition across its transport and logistics businesses.

Recall that CMA CGM Group, which also operates in Africa, will manage and operate the container terminal at the Lekki Deep Seaport facility.

The vice-president of bunkering and energy transition, CMA CGM, Farid Trad, who disclosed this, said the fund would support the shipper’s initiatives to meet its net-zero targets by 2050.

He said the company is investing in the building of new container ships that will run on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), adding that it is currently building 45 vessels, which will run on LNG and e-methane that is produced from decarbonised hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide.

According to him, these ships are expected to be operational by 2026, adding that the vessels being built are large ones at around 15,000 to 23,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units).

Trad said the shipper has 32 vessels currently operating on LNG and e-methane, while it operates a fleet of 583 ships.

He said the company remains confident in its decision to bank on LNG as a transitional fuel for its fleet, despite the surge in prices due to rising demand in Europe amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

Trad also added that for its land transport vehicles, the company is exploring the use of hydrogen, in addition to electrification and adopting biofuels.

He said that the company also owns and operates warehouses and terminals that require decarbonisation solutions.

“We need to be energy efficient and autonomous. We need to find ways to massively reduce our emissions with these assets. The fund will help to support innovation start-ups and projects like its investment in Energy Observer, a racing boat propelled by hydrogen, which is a limitless energy source that generates up to four times more energy than coal and three times more than diesel,” Trad said.

He explained that the green hydrogen used by Energy Observer is made from seawater using renewable sources of electricity generated on board by solar, wind and power.

Trad pointed out that another key area of investment with the fund would be to expand training opportunities for the company’s 150,000 employees around the world.

He noted that the company wants to create greater awareness of the core challenges in energy transition and global trade as well as the ways in which its employees can contribute to achieve its net-zero target by 2050.

Trad also highlighted that the company would open a new centre called Tangram, in Marseille, France, for training and innovation in late 2023.

He said the goal of the new training facility for the company’s employees worldwide is to transform the shipping and logistics sectors.

“When you have 150,000 people scattered around the world, across more than 100 countries, every single one of them could be an ambassador to the mission we are trying to accomplish at CMA CGM.

“By doing this, we create a community that will work in the right direction collectively and this will help accelerate the energy transition and fulfill our climate ambitions,” he said.

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