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Energy Solutions

The “Vogelflug” ferry is set to become emissions-free

The shipping company responsible wants to convert ferry operations between Puttgarden and Rødby entirely to battery power. But there are a few hurdles that still have to be overcome.

29 Aug. 2019
HMI-ID08-036rf-Scandlines-Vogelfluglinie
Photo: Scandlines

The Scandlines shipping company runs the “Vogelflug” line between Puttgarden on the German island of Fehmarn and Rødby in Denmark every half an hour. For some time now, it has been attempting to move to ecological, climate-friendly operation of its ships and therefore converted all of its ferries to hybrid engines back in 2013. Now the shipping company has presented plans under which it intends to remove two further main engines from its ships and replace them with battery packs. The batteries should then be recharged during the period of about 15 minutes that they spend docked in each harbor.

Before these plans can be implemented, certain preparations are necessary. As the power output in the harbor of Puttgarden is not sufficient, a 10 km cable will first have to be installed from the center of the island. A local energy store will also have to be built. The investment in the infrastructure and in the conversion of the ferries is estimated by Scandlines to be around EUR 100 million. Another problem is the high cost of the charging current, which means that the use of battery-operated ferries is not currently cost-effective. Scandlines is hoping, however, that the corresponding Renewable Energies Act levy will be lowered significantly in coming years. The shipping company is planning to implement the project at that point

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