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ZERO-CARBON TEST VESSEL EMBARKS ON NEXT STAGE OF GLOBAL VOYAGE

Thursday, May 21, 2020 

French container shipping group CMA-CGM, one of the partners in the 'Energy Observer' project, reports that the vessel, which relies on renewable energy and hydrogen power, has completed its transatlantic crossing.

Since it left Saint-Malo on 3 March, this 'vessel of the future' has covered more than 9,000 km at an average speed of 6 knots. Having arrived at Fort-de-France in Martinique, it has now set sail again, heading for the Amazon rainforest.

Energy Observer’s first transatlantic voyage took place in exceptional circumstances. Because of the global pandemic, the first hydrogen-powered vessel to embark on a round-the-world voyage had not been able to call at any port or change its crew since its departure.

These conditions forced the crew to push to its limits the main innovations that have been added to the vessel in 2020. With its new fuel cell system, automated wings, new solar panels and innovative propellers, Energy Observer has proved to be a genuine floating laboratory for renewable energies.

“We want to get back to nature , as much as possible, to learn from it and imagine the post-Covid-19 world that everyone’s talking about, even though no-one really knows what it will look like,” said expedition leader Jérôme Delafosse.

Synergies between the vessel’s various innovations and energy sources produced unprecedented performance during the crossing, allowing the crew to live comfortably even though the voyage was far from typical and they had to adapt to exceptional conditions.

Experience gained from this crossing will be used in new R&D projects undertaken jointly by the Energy Observer and CMA CGM teams, with the common goal of achieving zero-emission shipping and the large-scale adoption of hydrogen as an energy source.

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