Yokohama Port Call is First by an LNG-powered Containership in Japan

July 25, 2023

(Photo: CMA CGM)
(Photo: CMA CGM)

A port call made by CMA CGM Liberty at the Honmoku D4 terminal in Yokohama on Monday is the first by a liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered containership in Japan. At 15,000-TEU, the containership also ranks amongst the largest vessels to be calling in Japan.

CMA CGM Liberty is one of three e-methane ready LNG-powered vessels that the Group has lined-up on the weekly Asia Central South America 1 (ACSA1) service. They form the ACSA1 service fleet of 12 vessels, ranging from 12,000 to 15,000 TEUs and deployed on the regular Transpacific service. These dual-fuel gas powered vessels currently run on LNG, avoiding up to 99% of sulphur emission, 92% of nitrogen oxide emission and 91% of particulate matter. Their engines are already capable of using BioLNG (i.e. liquefied biomethane), and the ships are also technically-equipped to eventually run on e-methane (i.e. synthetic methane), a source of carbon-neutral fuel.

As part of its committed to achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2050, the CMA CGM Group already has a fleet of 32 "biomethane and e-methane ready" vessels in service, and will count 77 by 2027 and 24 biomethanol-powered, e-methanol ready vessels by 2027.

The arrival of CMA CGM Liberty, and soon her sister ships, are timely as the Yokohama port establishes its LNG bunkering infrastructure to decarbonise shipping.

In October 2022, the CMA CGM Group and Yokohama Kawasaki International Port Corporation signed a Reservation Agreement for Honmoku Futo D5 Terminal in Port of Yokohama. By October 2026, CMA CGM’s current container terminal operations at D4 will be relocated to the new D5, a larger and more sustainable terminal backed by an infrastructure of near-zero emission rubber tired gantry cranes, cold ironing and LNG bunkering facilities.

Hideki Uchida, President of CMA CGM Japan, said, “CMA CGM’s ACSA1 service is a choice shipping option among Japanese importers of fresh fruit from central and south America. The phasing-in of LNG-powered vessels on the service at Yokohama will resonate well with many shippers who have opted for CMA CGM’s CLEANER ENERGY LNG to reduce the environmental footprint of their shipments.”

Shinya Hitomi, President & CEO, Yokohama Kawasaki International Port Corporation, said, “The Port of Yokohama has been promoting larger container vessels and accommodating increasing cargoes to strengthen its competitiveness as an international container strategic port, as well as promoting the call of environmentally friendly vessels. In the future, we can expect more calls from ultra-large container vessels that use environmentally friendly fuels such as LNG.”

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