The 16 new thrusters will cut underwater noise and emissions – and make the ferry company “the green alternative to a tunnel.”
A further environmental upgrade on Scandlines’ four hybrid ferries on the route between Denmark and Germany (Puttgarden-Rødby) should mean less noise, vibration and emissions.
All of the thrusters – the ships’ propulsion systems – will be changed for new ones that allow a homogenous water flow, the shipping line says.
The €13 million refit lessens the vessels’ environmental impact by cutting the underwater noise and vibration, improving the conditions for the marine life in the Fehmarn Belt area, including harbour porpoises, Scandlines says.
In addition, easier water flow during propulsion will ultimately reduce CO2 emissions.
“The new thrusters are an important element on our way towards zero emissions – and I am very pleased that this can be combined with less impact on the underwater life in Fehmarn Belt,” said Søren Poulsgaard Jensen, Scandlines’ chief executive.
“The investment is a very clear signal from our investors that our zero emission strategy and our aim to become the green alternative to a possible tunnel has their full support.”
Jensen was referring to the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, a planned immersed tunnel project that aims to connect the Danish island of Lolland with the German island of Fehmarn, with construction due to start in 2020.
Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union says it is pleased with Scandlines’ decision to change to more efficient thrusters.
“Scandlines is proving its commitment to more environmental friendly shipping. This is not only good news for marine life in Fehmarn Belt but also a step towards zero emission propulsion,” says its Fehmarn Belt expert Malte Siegert.
The ships’ propulsion system consists of four thrusters, one in each corner of the ferry. So in all 16 thrusters will be exchanged, to be delivered by Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine together with a new automation and control system for each ship.
The first ferry will have its thrusters changed this coming autumn and all ferries will be equipped with the new thrusters by the end of 2020.