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Energy Observer and CMA CGM Join Forces to Make Hydrogen One of the Energy Sources of Tomorrow

By February 10, 2020 5   min read  (827 words)

February 10, 2020 |

The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics and a pioneer in the field of energy transition, is joining forces with Energy Observer, the first hydrogen-powered vessel to embark on a round-the-world voyage.

A common ambition: zero-emission shipping
Energy Observer, formerly a legendary race boat, is now a genuine experimental platform for tomorrow’s energy sources. It is sailing round the world in order to speed up the development of the most innovative solutions for the environment.

Our partnership deals with the development of cleaner and more sustainable energies to eliminate CO2 emissions, greenhouse gases, and air pollutants. It aims to experiment, test and develop energy solutions based on hydrogen, solar, tidal and wind power.

A shared challenge: to deploy hydrogen on a large scale in the shipping industry
Hydrogen is a limitless energy source that generates up to 4 times more energy than coal, 3 times more than diesel. The green hydrogen used by Energy Observer is made from seawater using on-board renewable sources of electricity (solar, wind and hydropower). Producing and burning hydrogen does not result in any greenhouse gas or fine particle emissions.

CMA CGM will contribute its industrial expertise to this floating lab, in order to promote the use of hydrogen as a zero-emission fuel source for the shipping industry in the years to come.

A unifying partnership that is speeding up the development of innovative environmental solutions
CMA CGM and Energy Observer R&D experts will pool their expertise and knowledge to develop technological solutions capable of limiting the environmental impact of shipping. The mobilization of CMA CGM will make possible the industrialization of new concrete energy solutions tested on board this floating smart grid.

CMA CGM will also contribute its shipping and logistics expertise to Energy Observer. The Energy Observer village will be made from containers converted and transported by CMA CGM with the large-scale operational support from the whole CMA CGM network around the world. It will travel the globe, presenting the latest technological innovations to the largest possible number of people and raising awareness about ecological transition issues among all audiences.

CMA CGM: a world leader in shipping and logistics and a pioneer in the field of ecological transition
CMA CGM has long been committed to protecting the environment and reducing its carbon footprint. Between 2005 and 2015, the Group reduced its CO2 emissions per container transported by 50%, and it has set itself the target of reducing it by a further 30% between 2015 and 2025.

CMA CGM has made many pioneering decisions:
– A commitment to the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for large-capacity vessels. LNG reduces sulphur oxide and fine particulate emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85% and CO2 emissions by around 20%;
– The decision that none of its vessels will use the Northern Sea Routes in order to preserve the fragile and unique ecosystems of the Arctic;
– The world’s first partnership to successfully test a latest-generation biofuel, made from recycled vegetable oils and forest residues, that reduces CO2 emissions by 80% over the entire life cycle;
– The development of numerous advanced eco-technologies on the Group’s fleet to improve its performance and reduce energy consumption: optimization of bows’ shape for better hydrodynamic efficiency, innovations on the propellers and the engines to reduce fuel and oil consumption;
– The creation of a Fleet Center to which all the Group’s vessels (506) are connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This unique system in the maritime transport industry makes it possible to optimize shipping routes (including by reducing speeds) in order to combine operational efficiency, safety and fuel consumption optimization, thus reducing CO2 emissions.
– The launch of an international coalition for the energy of tomorrow in order to federate all transport and logistics players. Supported by the French President, this high-level coalition is working on the development of clean energies for carbon-free transport.

Tanya Saadé Zeenny, Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, said: “CMA CGM is joining forces with Energy Observer to accelerate the development of tomorrow’s energy solutions, particularly hydrogen. Our partnership will mobilize all of CMA CGM’s know-how. Our teams of engineers and R&D experts are already working and our network around the world will be strongly mobilized to ensure the logistical support of Energy Observer’s worldwide ports of call.”

Victorien Erussard, Energy Observer’s Founder and Captain, added: “Leader in the shipping energy transition, CMA CGM is a key partner in our quest for clean transport. With CMA CGM’s huge experience in the shipping industry, our respective engineers and our technology partners, we have every chance of achieving our goals, which are ambitious but increasingly realistic. We are all driven by the same passion for technology and the desire to develop alternative energy solutions. The sea is something we can all share, and it is time to share our skills in order to protect the ocean, our favourite environment. We are delighted to be joining the 500-plus vessels in the CMA CGM fleet.”

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