Malta Freeport hosts first LNG-powered container ship

The gas-powered vessel is one of four CMA CGM has put into service

The first LNG-powered ship to visit Malta Freeport is one of four such vessels put into service by CMA CGM
The first LNG-powered ship to visit Malta Freeport is one of four such vessels put into service by CMA CGM

Cleaner shipping is a possibility as the first ever LNG-powered container ship to visit Malta has shown.

The container vessel docked at Malta Freeport Terminals where it discharged 560 containers. The The mv Containerships Polar was on its maiden voyage from Asia to Rotterdam.

The vessel is operated by a subsidiary of shipping line CMA CGM and the second in a series of four LNG-fuelled vessels put into service by the company. CMA CGM is one of the shareholders of Malta Freeport.

The use of LNG is fast gaining attention as it will reduce sulphur oxide emissions by 90 to 95% as well as reduce costs.

Malta Freeport Terminals CEO Alex Montebello said: “Malta Freeport is fully committed to the environment and supports initiatives by CMA CGM to reduce the carbon footprint of its vessels. The Group has been a pioneer in environmental protection. It is taking delivery of 20 vessels powered by LNG and nine of these will be among the largest afloat carrying 22,000 TEU containers.”

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi (second from left) and Malta Freeport Terminals CEO Alex Montebello (third from left) being given a tour of the first LNG-powered container ship to visit Malta
Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi (second from left) and Malta Freeport Terminals CEO Alex Montebello (third from left) being given a tour of the first LNG-powered container ship to visit Malta

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, whose portfolio includes the Freeport Authority, visited the ship. Mizzi had also pioneered the introduction of LNG in the production of electricity in Malta.

“By attracting to our country container vessels of this type, we are moving a step ahead towards cleaner seas and a better environment.  This complements other initiatives such as the regeneration of the promenade, afforestation in the Benghajsa area, the recreational park and multi-storey carpark on which works will start shortly, sound-friendly cranes, a double-glazing scheme, and several opportunities that we will be proposing and implementing in the best interests of the people living in the vicinity,” Mizzi said.

The Freeport currently provides network links to 115 ports around the world, 59 of which are in the Mediterranean.

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