Production is due to start in 2026 at a rate of 11,000 metric tons of biomethane annually.

By Joseph Murphy

French energy group Engie and containership firm CMA CGM have teamed up to invest in the Salamander biomethane project in northwest France, Engie reported on June 30.

CMA CGM has acquired a stake in the €150mn ($156mn) project, which is likely to be located in the port city of Le Havre and is due to produce 11,000 metric tons of biomethane annually from 2026. The unit will rely on dry biomass from local wood-waste sources as feedstock, along with solid recovered fuel. The biomethane will be produced via pyrogasification.

The pair aim to take a final investment decision in late 2022 on the project, which also has the support of the Havre Seine Metropole community.

CMA CGM's investment in the project comes after it signed a strategic partnership with Engie in November 2021, under which the pair set out a shared goal of producing up to 200,000 mt of renewable gas annually by 2028.

"Salamander is the first industrial ramp-up to emerge from the partnership, an advanced pilot helping to develop the renewable gas sector, in keeping with the goals of energy independence and the energy transition set forth by the European Commission in the RepowerEU plan," CMA CGM's vice president for assets and operations, Christine Cabau Woehrel, said in a statement.

CMA CGM has been increasing its use of bio-LNG and LNG as a bunkering fuel in recent years, with TotalEnergies and Shell picked as suppliers for the gas.