Scandlines to electrify two Fehrmarn Belt ferries

Taking the next big step on its green journey, Danish ferry operator Scandlines has decided to electrify two ferries on the Fehmarn Belt that links Denmark with northern Germany.


As informed, two of the four passenger ferries operating the Puttgarden-Rødby route will be converted into plug-in ferries so that they can charge green power both in Puttgarden and Rødby.

On average, the batteries of the ferries will be charged in just twelve minutes with at least 80 percent of the energy needed for a crossing. To make this possible, Scandlines is investing in large energy storage systems on board both ferries, charging facilities on board, and solar panels on board the ships.

The total investment in the electrification of the Fehmarn Belt ferries amounts to €31 million.

The German Ministry of Transport has awarded the project financial support as part of a funding programme covering sustainable modernisation of coastal vessels to reduce emissions, covering up to 40 percent of the conversion costs.

Scandlines expects to sign a contract on the conversion in early 2024. Subject to the final delivery time of equipment, the ferries will be converted at the beginning of 2024 until 2025.

“We are now electrifying two of our Fehmarn Belt ferries and moving much closer to our goal of making the route emission-free in Scope 1 by 2030. This is what our customers want, and it will significantly strengthen our competitiveness. The combination of our unparalleled reliability, continued investment in our unique green profile as well as the tailored traffic machine and excellent retail offerings, forms a competitive foundation for our business, also ahead of the planned opening of the Fehmarn Belt fixed link,” Scandlines CEO Carsten Nørland said.

In recent years, Scandlines introduced several green initiatives including an investment in a new zero direct emissions freight ferry, ambitions to make the Puttgarden-Rødby route emission-free by 2030 and realize the zero direct emissions vision by 2040.

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Climate and environmental issues have long had top priority on Scandlines’ agenda. As early as 2013, the ferry company invested in hybrid ferries with battery banks, and in 2024 the first zero direct emissions ferry Futura will be deployed on the Puttgarden-Rødby route.

Only six years later, in 2030, the ambition is to operate the entire route without direct emissions.

To make the entire company emission-free by 2040, Scandlines is setting itself higher targets than the COP28 agreement, which aims for a transition away from fossil fuels and zero emissions by 2050.

Since 2013, the company has invested more than €400 million in green technology such as new hybrid ferries for the Rostock-Gedser route, rotor sails and new centre propeller blade for the Rostock-Gedser ferries, new highly efficient and low-noise thrusters for the Puttgarden-Rødby ferries and algae-repellent silicone paint, which saves energy compared to conventional types of bottom paint.

With the new investment, Scandlines said it is well on the way to achieving its vision of making the Puttgarden-Rødby route emission-free by 2030. Already in 2030, Scandlines will have reduced the company’s total direct CO2 emissions by around 60 percent compared to 2008. The goal remains zero direct emissions for the entire company in 2040.