Scandlines says construction of its zero-emission freight ferry is on track

Scandlines’ ambitious project to develop a zero direct emission freight ferry is well underway at the Cemre shipyard in Turkey, as steel plates are meticulously cut and preparations are made to assemble the sections that will form the vessel.

The Cemre shipyard in Turkey has now cut all the steel plates and the 36 sections that make up the ferry are expected to be welded together and placed on the slipway by the end of June 2023, the ferry operator said.

The project was announced in November 2021 and it is expected to become “the world’s largest electric-powered hybrid ferry”.

The zero-emission ferry will run on a 10 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) from Swiss energy storage solutions company Leclanché.

Leclanché joins several companies selected to provide critical components, systems, and expertise to the project including Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime and Norwegian Electric Systems (NES). The ferry was designed by LMG Marin AS, Norway.

The Scandlines zero direct emission freight ferry will be 147.4 meters long, 25.4 meters wide and 5.3 meters design draft. The double-ended ferry’s freight capacity will be 66 freight units carrying a maximum of 140 passengers at a 10-knot service speed.

As a hybrid ferry, its crossing time between the two ports will be 45 minutes. In fully electric mode, crossing time is 70 minutes and the ferry is emission-free.

The Puttgarten Rødby 2024 (PR24) vessel will enter service on the Fehmarn Belt in just over a year’s time, and it will sail under the Danish flag with a dual crew.

It will connect Puttgarden ferry harbour, on the German island of Fehmarn, with Rødby ferry harbour on the island of Lolland in Denmark – a distance of 18.5 km.

“During the training, the dual officers acquire unique skills in navigation, engineering, management, etc., and will thus be trained to work as both technical officers and masters. Preparations are also ongoing in Scandlines’ simulator in Puttgarden,” Scandlines said.

A digital twin of the PR24 will be installed in the first quarter of 2024, so that the crew will have enough time to practice navigation of the PR24 before it goes into service.

The ferry terminals in Puttgarden and Rødby must also be prepared for the use of the PR24 and the increased traffic volume, especially within freight.

Scandlines has therefore carried out a comprehensive traffic study in cooperation with the construction consultancy Sweco, which forms the basis for the new terminal infrastructure. The new infrastructure will increase the capacity of the terminal areas and enable the automation of check-in as well as the use of the new freight ferry PR24.

“Many employees are involved in the project. The reconstruction of the terminals with the automatic number plate recognition at check-in, and the commissioning of our new freight ferry in 2024 will help to ensure the required capacity and our continued growth. It will also help to improve the customer experience,” says Scandlines Operations Excellence Manager Nicolai Træde Vestergaard.

The expansion of the ferry terminals in Puttgarden and Rødby is divided into several phases. The first sod was turned in Rødby at the beginning of March, and construction work will continue over the next 12 months, with a break in construction during the peak season in July and August.

In 2019, Scandlines invested in a 50 kV / 25 MW power cable to Rødbyhavn. The cable is expected to be extended approximately 1.2 km to the new transformer station between ferry berths 2 and 3 in the spring of 2023. The work is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023.

The investment in the new ferry stands at EUR 80 million.