CMA CGM to Modify 100 Vessels for Greater Fuel Efficiency

A CMA CGM container ship at sea
Updated Published

The French shipping major, CMA CGM, has engaged Damen Shipyards Group for the retrofitting of approximately 100 of its vessels. This initiative aims to achieve fuel efficiency improvements exceeding 10%. The retrofitting activities will be conducted at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque (DSDu) and Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam (DSAm), which are known for housing some of the largest drydocks in Europe.

A pivotal aspect of this collaboration involves the fitting of bulbous bows on the ships, a modification expected to enhance hydrodynamic efficiency. Additional enhancements under consideration include propeller upgrades, adjustments to the propeller nozzle, application of silicone-based coatings, and equipping some vessels with the capability to connect to shore-based electricity.

This move by CMA CGM is part of a broader trend among wealthy global shipping companies, including Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, allocating resources to retrofit ships for reduced emissions.

The ship repair industry is anticipated to see a surge in demand and revenue, driven by the convergence of new environmental targets set for 2030 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the challenges posed by an aging global merchant fleet.

Recent statistics from Clarksons Research highlight the environmental challenges facing the shipping industry, showing that 35% of the global merchant fleet falls into the lower tiers, D and E, of the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator, indicating a pressing need for upgrades. Additionally, Clarksons points out that 31% of the world's merchant vessels are now over 15 years old.

According to a report from UK-based consultancy Thetius, the global market for ship repairs is projected to expand significantly, from a current value of $46 billion to an estimated $83 billion by 2029, reflecting the growing imperative for fleet modernization and compliance with stricter environmental regulations.