France-based shipping group CMA CGM has selected Bureau Veritas (BV) to class its new fleet of nine 22,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container ships.

With around 18,000m³ bunker capacity each, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ships are expected to be delivered by 2020.

The fleet will help CMA CGM realise its goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30% between 2015 and 2025.

Bureau Veritas Marine and Offshore president Philippe Donche-Gay said: “This is a breakthrough order for gas fuelled shipping, both in scale and in the use of a membrane containment system.

“With around 18,000m³ bunker capacity each, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered ships are expected to be delivered by 2020.”

“Bureau Veritas has been supporting the project throughout, providing assistance to ensure the requirements for the safe use of LNG are addressed.”

CMA CGM was involved in the feasibility study of the new ship design, alongside China State Shipbuilding (CSSC) and containment system designer GTT.

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Bureau Veritas Marine technical director Jean-François Segretain said: “As CMA CGM have said, they will be the first shipping company in the world to equip giant container ships with LNG propulsion, pursuing a strong commitment to the protection of the environment and to ocean conservation.

“For us this is an exciting project to be involved in and our teams in China, supported by expertise in Paris, are looking forward to working on these innovative new ships.”