The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas-powered containership, and it recently made its maiden voyage to the Southampton Docks after setting off from Singapore on its Asia-Europe route.
The vessel represents a huge development in environmentally-conscious shipping. While liquefied natural gas (LNG) is still a fossil fuel, it’s widely considered to be the most eco-friendly and energy-efficient kind. Compared to gasoline, natural gas is virtually the same as methane – it’s still not ideal, but it has a low sulphur content, and is practically free from carbon monoxide.
This environmentally-friendly alternative offers reductions in emissions of various pollutants:
- Up to 20% reduction in CO2 emissions
- 99% reduction in sulphur emissions
- 99% reduction in fine particles emissions
- 85% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.
Thus, the use of LNG in the shipping industry is a huge improvement on ships driven using heavy fuel oil (HFO) – the standard maritime fuel with sulphur emissions 10,000 times higher than diesel – which accounts for an estimated 14% of all sulphur emissions into the atmosphere. If the shipping industry were to transform and switch from HGO to LNG, emissions would be significantly reduced, and air quality around ports and coastal communities would markedly improve due to the reduced production of pollutants.
As well as being better for the environment than standard ships, the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé is huge: it has a capacity of 23,000 twenty-foot containers, and initially set off from Singapore with a cargo of 20,723, setting a new world record for the capacity of an LNG-powered container vessel. It proves that practical logistics and eco-consciousness can work together.
Gary Jeffreys, the Chief Executive Officer at CMA CGM UK, has said: ‘The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADÉ embodies our commitment to the planet. […] We need to go further to build transport that is even more respectful of the environment.‘
Let’s hope this new record will set a precedent for more green industrial developments in the coming years which Southampton will be able to welcome with open arms.