Belgium’s CMB and France’s CMA CGM have unveiled separate clean energy projects that take them further into the hydrogen sector.

CMB’s clean technology division CMB.Tech has rolled out a 100% hydrogen engine in partnership with Belgian engineering firm Anglo Belgian Corp.

The mono-fuel hydrogen engines for use on ships and other marine applications will be produced by their joint venture company BeHydro.

Separately, liner giant CMA CGM has join the Jupiter 1000 project to produce green hydrogen from renewable power.

The project will also produce e-methane, a synthetic gas using the hydrogen and CO2 captured by the process.

Engine of growth

BeHydro’s launch of 100% hydrogen engines follows the successful launch of dual-fuel engines in late 2020.

The new hydrogen engines are developed for heavy-duty applications and range from 1 MW to 2.6 MW.

“With the launch of this mono-fuel hydrogen engine we are taking an important next step in the development of our BeHydro engines,” said Alexander Saverys, chief executive of CMB.Tech.

The engines are designed for use either as a main drive or in combination with an alternator.

They provide an environmentally friendly source of energy for ships, drilling rigs or other marine applications, as well as locomotives, the company said.

CMA CGM said it decided to join several industrial partners as a member of the Jupiter 1000 consortium to help meet its net-zero goals.

The aim is to convert a portion of renewable power, at times when it is abundant, into hydrogen and e-methane so that it can be stored for long periods.

The project is piloted by GRTgaz in Fos-sur-Mer in southern France, where the carrier recently completed its first LNG bunkering operations.

CMA CGM expects the project will accelerate the development of the production sector for synthetic methane.

“To help us meet our Net Zero target by 2050, we are resolutely committed to searching for and industrialising innovative non-fossil fuel gas solutions, with biomethane and synthetic methane,” said Christine Cabau Woehrel, group executive vice president.

“We intend to support the potential emergence of a whole new industry.”

Other partners in the Jupiter 1000 project are Compagnie Nationale du Rhone, RTE, McPhy, Leroux&Lotz, Khimod, CEA-Liten, GRTgaz and Terega.

“CMA CGM, which has a clear vision for the future of the shipping industry, will help us to scale up the industrial performance of the technologies we are trialling,” said CRTgaz chief executive Thierry Trouve.

CMA CGM has 28 e-methane-ready, dual-fuel, LNG-powered containerships in operation. It will have 44 in service by the end of 2024.