French liner CMA CGM is accelerating the pace of its fleet’s transition to new low-carbon fuel sources by joining the industrial demonstrator project that aims to produce green hydrogen from renewable power and also e-methane, a synthetic gas using hydrogen and CO2 captured from the industrial process.
Piloted by the French natural gas transmission system operator, GRTgaz, the Jupiter 1000 project in Fos-sur-Mer, where CMA CGM recently completed its first LNG bunkering operations, is intended to provide solutions to the challenge of decarbonising gas networks and the intermittent nature of renewable energy. The idea is to convert a portion of renewable power, at times when it is abundant, into hydrogen and e-methane so it can be stored on a large scale and for lengthy periods.
The first electrolyzer injected hydrogen into GRTgaz’s gas transmission network in February 2020. A second electrolyzer, employing a different technology from the previous one, entered service at the beginning of November 2021. Beyond producing hydrogen, Jupiter 1000 also recycles CO2 by converting it into synthetic gas in a methanation unit. The hydrogen methanation facilities are due to be commissioned in June 2022.
CMA CGM has made a big bet on LNG, but to fully decarbonise, it must find a better source of methane. By providing access to the results of its green hydrogen production, methanation and CO2 capture, Jupiter 1000 is expected to enable the French carrier to accelerate the development of the production sector for synthetic methane. The company already has 28 e-methane-ready dual-fuel, LNG-powered containerships and will have a total of 44 vessels of this type in service by the end of 2024.
The demonstrator benefits from the expertise of several partners. The renewable energy is generated by Compagnie Nationale du Rhône, the power transmission is handled by RTE, the electrolyzers are supplied by McPhy, the CO2 is captured and stored by Leroux & Lotz, the methanation process is handled by Khimod, CEA-Liten is piloting the trials, GRTgaz and Teréga supply the green gas to the conventional gas network, and the project is housed in the Port of Marseille. CMA CGM said it will bring to the Jupiter 1000 project its expertise in shipping and logistics, as well as guidance and fresh insights from its perspective on customer need.