Stena Line, Frederikshavn Municipality, and the Port of Frederikshavn have signed an agreement to operate the world’s first fossil free ferries.
They have committed to make the Gothenburg/Frederikshavn route the world’s first fossil fuel free ferry operation, using two battery-powered ‘Stena Elektra’ type ferries to be launched by 2030.
Stena Line had earlier launched the Tranzero Initiative together with the Volvo Group, Scania and the Port of Gothenburg, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions in the Port of Gothenburg – the largest port in the Nordic region – by 70% by 2030.
This agreement with the Danish municipality and port of Frederikshavn completes the chain.
“Our ambition is to lead the development towards fossil fuel free shipping and sustainable transport at sea. That is why we are investing in new technologies and various alternative fuels.
“We are already 10 years ahead of the international shipping industry’s target for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but with ‘Stena Elektra’ we are taking another big step on Stena Line’s sustainable journey, on the road to a completely fossil fuel free operation,” said Stena Line’s CEO, Niclas Mårtensson, who is also a member of the Swedish Government’s Commission for Electrification.
Stena Line aims to reduce its total carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and the new ‘Stena Elektra’ ferries play an important role in getting there, the company said.
However, this will take more than just battery powered vessels. Onshore infrastructure, such as sustainable charging facilities, must be developed in parallel. As part of the agreement, the Port of Frederikshavn commited to securing the necessary infrastructure at the port and its surroundings on the Danish side.
“The Port of Frederikshavn shares the high and green ambitions that make this project possible. The city has also shown that it has a unique capacity for change in its DNA, which is evident not least in its sustainability work.
“When we are now taking steps towards making the Gothenburg/Frederikshavn line completely independent of fossil fuels is not only positive for us, but for the entire Kattegat region,” said Mikkel Seedorff Sørensen, Port of Frederikshavn CEO.
The ferries will be the world’s first fossil fuel free ropaxes. They will be about 200 m in length, with a capacity of 3,000 lane meters and 1,000 pax.
In 2018 Stena Line took its first step on the battery journey by investing in battery hybrid power on ‘Stena Jutlandica’, currently operating on the Gothenburg/Frederikhavn route. This has so far resulted in a reduction in CO2 emissions of 1,500 tonnes per year.
“’Stena Elektra’ is a fantastic project for Frederikshavn. We know from experience that when the municipality leads the way, the business community, as well as private individuals, follow in our green footsteps.
“Our town and Stena Line have had a close relationship for a long time, but this ambitious agreement is not only important for us – it also has ripple effects throughout Denmark,” said Birgit Hansen, Chairman of the municipal council (S) of Frederikshavn Municipality.