Wärtsilä systems picked for electrification of two Scandlines ferries

Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has been selected to supply electrical systems needed to convert two ferries operated by Danish company Scnadlines to a plug-in hybrid solution.

Courtesy of Wärtsilä/Scandlines

In December 2023, the ferry operator revealed plans to convert two of the four passenger ferries on the Puttgarden-Rødby route to plug-in hybrid operation. The conversion is part of the ambition to operate the Puttgarden-Rødby route without direct emissions by 2030 and to realize the company’s zero direct emissions vision by 2040.

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Scandlines said it selected Wärtsilä after “a competitive tender process with several suppliers”.

The conversion of the ferries is scheduled to start in the second half of 2025. A diesel generator will be removed and replaced by a 5 MWh energy storage system.

Specifically, the project involves replacing an engine and existing systems with a new shore-charged electrical system, including a large energy storage system. This will allow electricity to contribute approximately 80 percent of the energy needed for each crossing, according to Wärtsilä.

“We are so pleased to have the most important supplier in place, and we are very much looking forward to working with Wärtsilä and getting started with the conversion. With the plug-in hybrid ferries, we can get even closer to our goal of operating the Puttgarden-Rødby route emission-free by 2030,” Michael Guldmann Petersen, Scandlines’ CEO, commented.

Wärtsilä will engineer and deliver the hybrid converters, the energy storage system (ESS) and the energy management system (EMS), as well as the switchgears, transformers, the onboard port charger, and replacement components in the existing switchboard equipment.

In addition, Wärtsilä will supervise the installations, carry out the commissioning, and provide preventive maintenance support services.

“We are excited to support Scandlines with their vision towards delivering environmentally sustainable transport options for the region. Ship electrification is one of the solutions for marine decarbonisation and as the world’s biggest conversion project of its kind, we can help Scandlines move closer to meeting their goal of making the route emission-free by 2030,” Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä Marine and Executive Vice President at Wärtsilä Corporation, said.

The two Scandlines RoRo ferries selected for conversion to plug-in hybrid operation are the 142 metres-long Deutschland and Schleswig-Holstein.

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