France’s CMA CGM, one of the world’s biggest container transportation and shipping companies, said that it had decided to refrain from using the Arctic passages, including the Northern Sea Route, over environmental concerns.
The French firm, which owns some 14 percent of the world’s container fleet, said that it would use none of the Arctic passages that are becoming available for use due to melting ice.
“CMA CGM made a decisive decision in favour of protecting the environment and global biodiversity, despite the great competitive advantage, provided for sea companies by this route [Northern Sea Route],” the French company said in a statement, as quoted by the Figaro newspaper.
Rodolphe Saadé, chair and CEO of the CMA CGM Group said “With this decision, CMA CGM makes the resolute choice to protect the environment and the planet’s biodiversity despite the major competitive advantage this route represents for shipping companies,”
CMA CGM touted its decision to use LNG power in its ultra-large ships that carry up to 23,000 containers. According to the company, this choice took seven years of development in collaboration with shipyards, suppliers, large groups, SMEs and research laboratories. The first ship in this fleet of nine container vessels will be delivered as early as 2020. By 2022, the Group will have 20 LNG-powered vessels in its fleet.
Committed to the industry’s energy transformation, CMA CGM said it is continuously innovating in order to equip its fleet with the most environmentally-friendly technology. Between 2005 and 2015, the Group has already reduced its CO2emissions per container transported by 50% and has a target to further reduce these emissions by a further 30% by 2025.
(Source: CMA CGM – Image: Marco Polo container ship in Hamburg/Port of Hamburg)