DFDS com­mits to car­bon neu­tral ves­sels on the Eng­lish channel

Following a visit by the French Minister for Foreign Trade, Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, Olivier Becht, DFDS commits to investing in battery-powered vessels to decarbonise the maritime traffic across the English Channel.

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Carbon-neutral traf­fic across the Eng­lish Chan­nel has moved ano­ther step clo­ser. Today, the French Minis­ter for For­eign Trade, Attrac­ti­ve­ness and French Natio­nals Abroad, Oli­vi­er Becht and CEO of DFDS, Tor­ben Carlsen, met to dis­cuss decar­bo­ni­sa­ti­on of the ship­ping sec­tor and the elec­tri­fi­ca­ti­on of mari­ti­me traf­fic across the Eng­lish Chan­nel. DFDS com­mits to invest in inno­va­ti­on and tech­no­lo­gy and deploy­ing a fleet of battery-powered ves­sels in the Eas­tern Chan­nel by 2030.

Becau­se of the rela­ti­ve short distance bet­ween the two count­ries the rou­tes are opti­mal for elec­tric fer­ry transport.

“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 decar­bo­ni­se cross chan­nel trans­por­ta­ti­on,” says Tor­ben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

The Eng­lish Chan­nel is one of the busie­st ship­ping cor­ri­dors in the world. It links two of the world’s big­gest eco­no­mies and accounts for 33% of the trade bet­ween the EU and the UK. Ear­lier in the year, DFDS and the Port of Dover, Port Bou­lo­gne Calais, and Dunkerque-Port signed a memo­ran­dum of under­stan­ding to col­la­bo­ra­te on decar­bo­ni­s­ing mari­ti­me traf­fic on the Dover Straits.

Infra­struc­tu­re and power sup­p­ly is key for the green transition

The green tran­si­ti­on of mari­ti­me trans­port 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 the fleet electrification.

“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 decar­bo­ni­sa­ti­on and enable green trans­port cor­ri­dors across the Eng­lish Chan­nel,” says Tor­ben Carlsen.

In 2020 DFDS laun­ched a two-staged cli­ma­te action plan with a short-term objec­ti­ve of redu­cing the rela­ti­ve CO2 emis­si­ons of its ships by 45% by 2030, and second­ly 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.

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

From left: Tor­ben Carlsen, Oli­vi­er Becht and Mathieu Girardin


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