This week, CMA CGM took delivery of the 23,112 teu megamax CMA CGM SORBONNE. The handover completes a series of nine identical LNG-powered megamaxes delivered since September 2020.
CMA CGM ordered the series in September 2017 and became the first carrier to commit to LNG as a more environmentally friendly fuel for large mainline container ships.
Prior to that, LNG propulsion had been limited to ferries, cruise ships and a handful of smaller container ships on specalised and niche trades.
With the series of megamax ships in CMA CGM ownership, and with a series of 14,812 teu neo-panamax vessels that CMA CGM agreed to charter from Eastern Pacific Shipping, LNG finally gained traction as a more ‘mainstream’ propulsion option for large container vessels.
Unless another carrier was to renegotiate existing orders, the nine CMA CGM vessels of 23,112 teu will remain the only LNG-powered megamaxes until mid-2023, when the first DSME-built 23,660 teu ships for Hapag-Lloyd will come on stream.
The CMA CGM SORBONNE is 399.90 m long and 61.30 m (24 rows) wide. The ship is powered by a WinGD-12X92DF main engine that gives her a service speed of up to 22 knots.
With the exception of the series’ lead vessel, named in honor of the late CMA founder Jacques R. Saadé, all of the sister ships are named after places and landmarks in Paris, such as the Champs-Élysées, Louvre, Palais Royal, Montmartre, Trocadero, Rivoli, Concorde and the Sorbonne.
Later this month, the brand new CMA CGM SORBONNE is scheduled to join the CMA CGM-operated Asia - Europe service ‘FAL1’ of the OCEAN Alliance (‘NEU4’).
As far as the loop’s ‘proforma fleet’ is concerned, the megamax phase-in would complete the service’s upgrade to a nearhomogenous fleet of nine MGX-24 ships of 23,112 teu and three ‘aviator class’ MGX-23 ships of 20,954 teu.