First BioLNG production project considered at French port

5th July 2021 By: Simone Liedtke - Writer

French firms EveRé, CMA CGM Group, Elengy and TotalEnergies have joined forces to study the feasibility of creating France’s first production unit for liquefied biomethane (BioLNG), a low-carbon alternative fuel dedicated to the energy transition in the shipping industry.

EveRé is the operator of the multi-process household waste treatment plant commissioned by Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence, while the CMA CGM Group is considered a world leader in shipping and logistics.

Elengy is a subsidiary of Engie and operates liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals at Fos-sur-Mer.

Produced by converting the biodegradable part of household waste from the Marseille Provence region, BioLNG is expected to allow for the decarbonisation of shipping services departing from the Grand Port Maritime in Marseille. The BioLNG will be used primarily for the CMA CGM Group’s LNG-powered vessels.

The project forms a circular economic system by using the area’s household waste to help reduce local air pollutants (caused by nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and fine particles), thus improving air quality and quality of life for people living in the region and supporting the energy transition in the shipping industry.

BioLNG, combined with the dual-fuel gas engine technology developed by CMA CGM, reduces greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, including carbon dioxide, by at least 67% relative to the complete value chain, the firms state.

On the basis of a tank-to-wake measurement (at vessel level), GHG emissions are reduced by 88%, they say.

LNG allows for a 99% reduction in sulphur oxide emissions, a 91% reduction in fine particles emissions and a 92% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.

By the end of 2024, 44 of the CMA CGM Group’s vessels will be powered by LNG.

The project “fits perfectly” into the local ecosystem, benefiting from the particularly well-suited and already existing infrastructure at the Grand Port Maritime, including EveRé’s waste methanisation unit, Elengy’s LNG terminals, which will be used for the storage and delivery of the BioLNG to TotalEnergies’ bunker vessel, which will be located at the port as of January 2022, and CMA CGM’s fleet of LNG-powered vessels.

The feasibility study has been launched within the framework of this large-scale project, which corresponds with the national drive to promote BioLNG as defined in France’s Mobility Orientation Law.