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Illustration of DFDS ferries

Image courtesy DFDS

DFDS to Electrify Cross-Channel Transport with Battery-Powered Vessels

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 486
April 11, 2024

DFDS, a leading European shipping and logistics company, has announced its plan to introduce up to six fully electric ferries on the English Channel.

The announcement came after a meeting between the UK Minister for Investment and Regulatory Reform, Lord Dominic Johnson, and DFDS representatives at the company’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.

DFDS’s ambitious goal is to launch the world’s largest electric ferries, with the first two of these battery-powered vessels expected to be in service in the Eastern Channel by 2030. This initiative is part of a broader program to invest approximately DKK 7.3 billion (USD $1.05 billion) in six eco-friendly vessels, including two running on methanol and two on ammonia, over the next six years.

“DFDS’ commitment highlights the value of our trading relationship and the strategic importance of the English Channel shipping route,” said Johnson. He further emphasized the UK government’s firm aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The short distance between the UK and the European continent makes the routes on the English Channel ideal for electric ferry transport. However, the successful green transition of maritime transport involves not just the ships but also adequate land-based power supply and recharging facilities in ports.

CEO of DFDS, Torben Carlsen, acknowledged the challenges but remained optimistic, “The transition is not going to be easy. It requires significant investments in innovation, technology and infrastructure, and collaboration and partnerships between the public and private sectors. But I am confident that we will succeed.”

DFDS operates 12 routes between the UK and various European countries and employs 3,300 people across five ports, multiple logistics offices in the UK, and onboard three UK-flagged vessels.

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