France Turning to LNG as Marine Fuel, Boosting Port Competitiveness

The French state will modify its regulations to facilitate the uptake of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, the country’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said while addressing the present at a maritime conference in the port town of Le Havre.

Phillippe said that the government would encourage the country’s ports to develop the necessary infrastructure to allow ships to bunker LNG. A revision of fiscal rules on amortizing investments in new ships or engine technology is also being considered.

The intention was revealed on the back of French container carrier CMA CGM’s announcement on powering its nine 22,000 TEU boxhips with LNG, thus becoming a pioneer in the industry.

The Prime Minister added that the ports would be encouraged as well to install shore power systems for ships as part of the transition to an environmentally-friendly power supply.

As part of its efforts to curb pollution, France plans to ask the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to set up a low sulfur cap zone in the Mediterranean.

Furthermore, as indicated by the Prime Minister, the French ports lag behind their European counterparts, and there is a need for a more ambitious port strategy to boost their performance and competitiveness.

Among the measured being proposed to achieve that are cutting of the red tape to attract investors and improvement of ports’ connectivity via rail, river transport.

World Maritime News Staff

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