CMI Jinling Weihai yard Receives Order for 2 LNG-powered Roll-on Roll-off Ships

French shipping giant CMA CGM, on behalf of its newly acquired ferry subsidiary La Méridionale, has placed an order for two RoPax ferries which will be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG). As confirmed by La Méridionale. The new vessel will be built by China’s CMI Weihai Jinling Ship and is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2027.

The new ship is 180 meters long and 30.8 meters wide, sailing under the French flag, and features 264 staterooms in seven different categories, each accommodating between two and four people, including 21 luxury staterooms with balconies for up to 1,000 passengers.

The interior of the ship was designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel, who designed the world’s first polar luxury expedition ship, LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT, for France’s Ponant Cruises.

The new vessels will be equipped with the latest environmental technologies such as two LNG-powered 10.5 megawatt electric propulsion engines, optimized five-bladed propellers, and will be primarily fueled by LNG, which reduces sulfur oxides emissions by 99 percent and nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, with the possibility of using alternative fuels such as biogas and synthetic methane in the future. Other energy-saving technologies include optimized hull design, heat recovery systems and cabin energy optimization, which will help reduce CO2 emissions and underwater noise emissions.

La Méridionale is understood to be a mixed-use passenger and cargo shipping company founded in 1931, and its fleet now operates four roll-on/roll-off vessels providing daily freight and passenger services between Corsica and mainland France, as well as a scheduled service between Marseille and Morocco.

In February this year, CMA CGM revealed that it entered into exclusive discussions with STEF Group to acquire 100% of La Méridionale, a mixed freight and passenger shipping company based in Marseille. The acquisition was finalized in May 2023. With this new division, which aims to transport cargo and passengers more sustainably, CMA CGM intends to strengthen its overall decarbonization efforts.

In May this year, China’s CMI Jinling Weihai yard also signed a construction contract with Swedish shipowner Stena RoRo for two NewMax-type hybrid ro-ro vessels. The new vessels, which are expected to be delivered in June and November 2025 respectively, will be 147 meters in length, with a 2,800-meter lane, and will be able to accommodate up to 12 passengers and 25 crew members, and will be deployed on the Trans-Irish Sea route after delivery.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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