DFDS Electrifies The English Channel: €1 Billion Investment In Green Ships

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€1 Billion Investment in Electric Vessels & Fleet Electrification Plan

DFDS is announcing a substantial €1 billion investment in battery electric vessels, marking its unwavering commitment to decarbonising maritime traffic in the English Channel.

The investment will fund the development and deployment of six battery electric ships that will operate on the Dunkirk-Dover and Calais-Dover routes, facilitating passenger and freight transport between the UK and the European Union.

The first two electric vessels will be in operation by 2030, while the rest is expected to follow before 2035.

CEO’s Perspective & Strategic Collaboration

“This is an important step towards decarbonising cross-Channel transport. Because of the relatively short distance between the UK and France, the routes are optimal for electric ferry transport. The electrification of our cross-Channel fleet will be an important step towards meeting our climate targets and, with this investment, we are accelerating the transition to a greener future for the shipping industry,” says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

DFDS has forged partnerships with key stakeholders, including the Port of Dover, the Port of Boulogne Calais, and the Port of Dunkirk. Together, they are committed to decarbonising maritime traffic in the Straits of Dover, as outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding signed on March 15, 2023.

Collaboration is the key to the transition to low-emission transport

Innovation and Sustainability

DFDS is collaborating with industry experts in battery technology, ship design, and energy efficiency to develop cutting-edge electric ships, ensuring safety, performance, and minimal environmental impact in their design and production.

In addition, DFDS works closely with national authorities, infrastructure partners and energy suppliers to secure the energy supply and infrastructure for electric ships. In recent years, DFDS and the French authorities have intensified dialogue, and the French government recently launched an ambitious plan for the country’s energy transition, focusing on infrastructure.

Torben’s Green Transition

“The green transition is not something we can achieve on our own. Without access to sufficient power supply on land and infrastructure to accommodate charging facilities in ports, we cannot operate the ships. I am pleased that we have a shared ambition with governments on both sides of the Channel to enable green transport corridors and we are delighted to be able to make this announcement at the 7th Choose France Summit initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron,” says Torben Carlsen.

In 2023, DFDS launched a new strategy – Moving Together Towards 2030 – which reconfirms the ambition to become a net-zero company by 2050 and to have six green ferries in service by the end of 2030, two of which will be electric ships for the Channel.

Local Impact

In France, DFDS has 5 vessels under French flag and employs 1,200 people, including 800 French seafarers.

In the UK, DFDS has a long history of working with authorities and partners, and fully supports initiatives to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UK’s ports and shipping sector.

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Source: Globe News Wire