Shipping and logistics company DFDS (Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab) has committed to deploying a fleet of battery-powered vessels in the eastern English Channel by 2030.
Olivier Becht, the French Minister for Foreign Trade, Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, and Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS, met to discuss the decarbonization of the shipping sector and the electrification of maritime traffic across the English Channel.
As a result, DFDS has committed to investing in innovation and technology and deploying a fleet of battery-powered vessels in the Eastern Channel by 2030. Because of the relatively short distance between the UK and France, the routes were found to be optimal for electric ferry transportation.
DFDS’s Carlsen said, “We have a shared ambition with the French government to accelerate the transition to a greener future for the shipping industry. This is not an easy task. It requires significant investments in innovation, technology and infrastructure, and collaboration and partnerships between the public and private sectors. But I am positive that we are on the right track. We will invest in green vessels and cooperate with ports and governments on both sides of the channel to decarbonize cross-channel transportation.”
According to the partners, the English Channel is one of the busiest shipping corridors in the world and accounts for 33% of the trade between the EU and the UK. Earlier in 2023, DFDS and the Port of Dover, Port Boulogne Calais and Dunkerque-Port signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on decarbonizing maritime traffic on the Dover Straits.
The green transition of maritime transportation not only relies on the ships at sea. A sufficient power supply on land and infrastructure to accommodate recharging facilities in ports are equally important to be able to complete fleet electrification.
Carlsen continued, “The green transition is a complex challenge that requires all hands on deck. We need support from public authorities, infrastructure parties, utility providers, customers and suppliers. I am happy to continue our cooperation with the French government to accelerate the decarbonization and enable green transport corridors across the English Channel.”
In 2020 DFDS launched a two-stage climate action plan with a short-term objective of reducing the relative CO2 emissions of its ships by 45% by 2030, and a long-term objective of being carbon neutral by 2050. The electrification of the Channel fleet will be an important milestone in achieving these objectives.
Read more of the latest environmental updates from the electric and hybrid marine technology industry, here.