New carbon-neutral sea route between Stockholm and Turku in the making

A new project has been launched in Finland to develop a carbon-neutral “green corridor” between Turku and Stockholm through which cargo and passengers can travel.

Courtesy of RMC
Courtesy of RMC

The Decatrip project between shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC), shipping company Viking Line, Åbo Akademi University and DC fast charging solutions provider Kempower seeks to develop solutions that enable carbon-neutral shipping between Turku and Stockholm. It is estimated that this target can be reached by 2027.

On 9 September 2022, Business Finland granted €1,596,000 for the joint project.

“The solutions developed in the project will enable fully carbon-neutral freight and passenger travel between Turku and Stockholm, but the project will also be scalable for other routes. This is important since all EU countries, Finland included, have signed on to build green maritime transport corridors,” Mika Laurilehto, interim CEO, RMC, said.

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Initially, the project will aim to turn a sea route operated by Viking Line carbon neutral. Within the project, RMC is developing energy-efficient solutions for operating the ships, and together with Kempower, for charging electric vehicles on board the ships.

Åbo Akademi University, which acts as a research partner in the project, will be evaluating the societal benefits of the green corridor. PBI Research Institute will coordinate the project. Fuel for the zero-carbon transport is planned to be manufactured locally in Southwest Finland.

Magnus Gustafsson, Research Director in Industrial Management at Åbo Akademi University, estimates that the decarbonisation of the Viking Line route between Turku and Stockholm can be achieved within five years.

“Consumers increasingly want the products and services they buy to be sustainable, and this is reflected throughout the entire logistics chain. The project is starting from the position that the transition to zero emissions will not increase the costs significantly. This will provide passengers with a sustainable alternative, an opportunity for the industry to gain competitive advantage in sustainable transport, and a tangible example of how we can eliminate emissions in seafaring using Finnish expertise,” according to Gustafsson.