Monday, February 10, 2020

Container Line Joins in World Circling Project to Lead the Way to Zero Carbon Shipping

Hydrogen Produced Entirely from Renewable Resources
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – WORLDWIDE – When it comes to decarbonising all modes of transport many consider the ultimate future will lie with the widespread use of hydrogen. Despite the currently high energy exchange costs of production, and the difficulties of storage, the maritime sector is taking a serious look at the gas as a fuel of the future as evidenced by the latest move of one of the world's largest container freight shipping lines.

Our photo shows the Energy Observer, formerly a legendary race boat and now a genuine experimental platform for tomorrow’s energy sources. It is sailing round the world in order to speed up development of the most innovative solutions for the environment and is now receiving sponsorship from container shipping giant CMA CGM.

The French group says the intention is to deploy hydrogen on a large scale in the shipping industry in a partnership which deals with the development of cleaner and more sustainable energies to eliminate CO2 emissions, greenhouse gases and air pollutants. It aims to experiment with other sources of unconventional power for the industry, to test and develop energy solutions based on solar, tidal and wind power as well as hydrogen.

Hydrogen is a limitless energy source that generates up to 4 times more energy than coal, 3 times more than diesel. Energy Observer is the first energy self-sufficient vessel, with zero CO2 emissions, zero fine particles, and zero noise. The green hydrogen used by the 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.

The two partners will pool their resources, each team inputting knowledge from their own particular fields. 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 says it 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.

Additionally it is committed to the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for large capacity vessels. It believes LNG reduces sulphur oxide and fine particulate emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85% and CO2 emissions by around 20%. 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 mobilise 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 mobilised to ensure the logistical support of Energy Observer's worldwide ports of call.”

CMA CGM has also joined the world's first partnership which claims to have successfully tested a latest-generation biofuel, made from recycled vegetable oils and forest residues, that reduces CO2 emissions by 80% over the entire life cycle. It has additionally sworn off sailings via the Northern Sea Routes in order to preserve the fragile and unique ecosystems of the Arctic.

Sailing around the world, stopping in many iconic cities to meet the pioneers of the ecological transition, but also elected officials, decision-makers, ship owners and major economic players, Energy Observer seeks to demonstrate on a daily basis that fully carbon-free, decentralised and digitised energy has become a reality. Victorien Erussard, Energy Observer’s Founder and Captain, commented:

“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.”