France’s shipping giant CMA CGM has agreed to make a €25 million ($29.5 million) investment in compatriot Brittany Ferries, including €10 million ($11.8 million) in quasi-equity to support the company’s post-Covid recovery.

The announcement was made during this week’s Assises de l’économie de la mer event in Nice, the largest annual meeting of participants in France’s sea economy.

The new partnership is expected to help to unlock synergies between the two companies in passenger and freight transport and help promote the development of cross-channel shipping.

The agreement will also enable CMA CGM to use available cargo space onboard Brittany Ferries’ services to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Iberian Peninsula.

The transportation of goods aboard Brittany Ferries’ roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ships will help expand the CMA CGM’s offering in the RoRo sector for the Atlantic and northern coast of France to destinations in the United Kingdom.

Under the agreement, both companies will be able to introduce new RoRo services, CMA CGM noted.

What is more, they will be looking at ways of sharing their LNG knowledge and resources in areas such as training for French crews and safety procedures.

Since the beginning of the year, CMA CGM has taken delivery of 8 new ships, including the last five of its fleet of nine 23,000 TEU units powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). 

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The transition to LNG as a marine fuel is part of the firm’s strategy to cut emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050.

On the other hand, two new LNG-powered ships are due to join Brittany Ferries’ fleet next year and in 2023. The new Ro-pax vessels, Salamanca and Santoña, will operate services between the United Kingdom and Spain. The move is part of Brittany Ferries’ fleet renewal plan, one of the pillars of its five-year post-Covid recovery strategy.

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