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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
15/05/20 12:35

Over 1 billion euro for CMA CGM, about to receive the largest LNG barge worldwide

The French liner obtained a credit line guaranteed by 70% by the Government. Following an agreement with Total it will rely also on the unit Gas Agility for LNG supplies

by Pietro Roth


After Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Yang Ming, also the French liner CMA CGM relied on public aids to face the crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic which, according to the company’s forecasts, in 2020 will cause a 10% decrease in traffics.

In fact, the global carrier announced that it obtained a 1.05 billion euro credit line from a pool of transalpine banks (Bnp Paribas, HSBC France and Societe Generale), 70% of which is guaranteed by the French Government, within a wider 300 billion support plan for companies implemented by the French Government in the past weeks.

In upcoming months CMA CGM will receive the largest barge worldwide, which was designed and built to supply LNG-fuelled container ships. In fact, the unit Gas Agility, having a capacity of 18,600 cubic meters, was delivered by the Chinese shipyard Hudong Zhonghua Merchant Marine Mitsui to Total, which will put it into service by the end of the year, having Rotterdam as its base.

Thanks to a 10-year agreement entered into with Total, the French liner will be able to rely on this newbuilding, which can supply container ships with enough fuel to cover 19,500 nautical miles, thus covering the round trip between Europe and the Far East.

Supply operations will be rather quick because the barge will be able to transfer up to 1,600 cubic meters per hour.

The unit Gas Agility belongs to the Hungarian company MOL, which chartered it to Total. In turn, Total entered into a 10-year agreement with CMA CGM, to which it will provide 300,000 tons of liquefied natural gas per year to supply its fleet of 9 23,000 TEUs container ships.

The above agreement provides also for the construction and commissioning of one sister unit, which the Chinese shipyard already started building and whose delivery is scheduled for the end of next year. This time, the barge will be based in Marseille and it will supply the French company’s new 15,000 TEUs ships with 270,000 tons of liquefied natural gas per year, thus sailing both to Northern and Southern Europe.

Unlike Gas Agility, the second unit will be able to supply both container ships and oil tankers, as well as cruise ships.

As a matter of fact, the unit Kairos (with a capacity of 7.500 cubic meters) – whose management was recently transferred from Nauticor to Gasum following the take-over of the Hamburg-based company on the part of Gasum – will no longer be the largest LNG bunker ship worldwide.