Shipping giant CMA CGM is joining forces with the team behind Energy Observer – the first hydrogen-powered vessel to embark on a round-the-world voyage – in an initiative to develop sustainable energy solutions’.
In a statement issued yesterday (10 February), CMA CGM said they aim ‘to experiment, test and develop energy solutions based on hydrogen, solar, tidal and wind power’.
The Energy Trader was previously a successful race boat but now operates as a ‘float lab’ for ‘tomorrow’s energy sources’. The ship uses ‘green hydrogen’, which is made from seawater using on-board renewable sources of electricity (solar, wind and hydropower).
CMA CGM said it wants to use its partnership with Energy Observer to ‘promote the use of hydrogen as a zero-emission fuel source for the shipping industry in the years to come’.
The company will also support the venture with its shipping and logistics expertise. This will include the ‘Energy Observer village’, which 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. This village, said CMA CGM, 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 said that its support for Energy Observer was in line with its broader strategy for emissions reductions and environmental stewardship. The company’s recent efforts in this area have included: a commitment to using LNG as a marine fuel, testing biofuels, and opting not to use the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in order to preserve the Arctic ecosystems.
In December last year, Rodolphe Saadé, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, called on the French President Emmanuel Macron to ‘initiate an international coalition for the energy transition of the transportation sector’.
CMA CGM is the second global brand to give its backing to Energy Observer this month. Last week, Japan’s Toyota announced that it had developed a fuel cell for maritime applications – and it would be installing a unit on the Energy Observer. The maritime-specific fuel cell system – which is based on components used in the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, the Toyota Mirai – was developed by Toyota’s Technical Centre in Europe.