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DFDS plans to invest €1bn in battery ferries

Ferry operator DFDS plans to invest no less than €1bn in its fleet. Battery-electric ships are planned for the routes in the English Channel.

In future, maritime traffic in the English Channel will be powered by electricity. The shipping company DFDS wants to have six battery-electric ships built that will be used on the Dunkirk-Dover and Calais-Dover routes. [ds_preview]

The first two electric ships will be operational by 2030, with the others following by 2035. “This is an important step towards decarbonising transport across the English Channel,” says CEO Torben Carlsen.

Due to the relatively short distance between the United Kingdom and France, the routes are ideally suited for electric ferry transport. The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping corridors in the world. It reportedly accounts for 33% of trade between the EU and the UK.

DFDS wants “net zero” by 2050

In a joint initiative with the ports of Dover, Boulogne-Calais and Dunkirk in March last year, the shipping company committed to working together to decarbonise shipping in the Strait of Dover.

According to DFDS, it intends to work with leading providers of battery technology, ship design and energy efficiency to put the newbuilds on the water, with three ships sailing under the French flag. At the same time, the necessary infrastructure will be developed and installed on land.

“I am delighted that we have a common goal with the governments on both sides of the English Channel to enable green transport corridors,” said CEO Carlsen. In 2023, the ferry operator presented its “Moving Together Towards 2030” strategy. This aims to reduce emissions throughout the company to “net zero” by 2050.

In France, DFDS operates five ships under the French flag and employs 1,200 people. In the UK, DFDS has a long history of working with authorities and partners to support initiatives to accelerate the decarbonisation of UK ports and the shipping sector.

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