COPENHAGEN, a hybrid passenger ferry operating between Rostock and Gedser, was retrofitted with a Norsepower Rotor Sail unit measuring 30m in height and 5m in diameter. The installation was completed in a matter of hours, following meticulous preparation over the past few months.
Scandlines 2019: Solid Results Despite Traffic Decline
Scandlines says its operational efficiency was strong, and the group’s two ferry routes completed more than 41,500 departures and transported 7.2 million passengers.
Soft economic indicators in Sweden and Germany resulted in a slight drop in traffic volume.
In the meanwhile, the company continued to build a more competitive business through investing in green initiatives and further strengthening the group’s financing.
Revenue from the two ferry routes was unchanged at EUR 352 million despite a moderate decline across traffic segments following years of growth in the freight business in particular. BorderShop revenue saw a minor decline to EUR 124 million (2018: EUR 125 million) as leisure travel declined slightly and fewer Swedes visited the group’s BorderShops due to the weak Swedish currency.
Group profitability remained steady in 2019 as Scandlines generated profit from ordinary activities (recurring EBITDA) of EUR 188 million (2018: EUR 191 million) corresponding to an unchanged recurring EBITDA margin of 40 percent. The solid profitability level was secured mainly by means of cost control measures compensating for the lower traffic volumes during the year.
Scandlines continues to see potential for improvement in the coming years as efforts continue to optimise and develop the business.
The preparatory work for the installation of the rotor sail on the hybrid ferry COPENHAGEN was successfully completed during the planned shipyard stay in autumn 2019.
A steel foundation and cables were laid to prepare the installation of the rotor sail, scheduled for the second quarter of 2020. In addition, a new mast was mounted, as the stern top light must be placed in front of the rotor sail.
The installation of the rotor sail will reduce Scandlines’ CO2 emissions from its ferry by four to five percent.
Scandlines Installs Norsepower’s Rotor Sail Solution On Hybrid Ferry
Scandlines has signed an agreement to install Norsepower’s Rotor Sail Solution on board the COPENHAGEN, a hybrid ro-pax sailing between Gedser and Rostock.
Since 2013, Scandlines has invested more than EUR 300 million in building and retrofitting ferries from conventional diesel-driven to hybrid ferries. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions.
The route between Gedser to the north and Rostock to the south is almost perpendicular to the prevailing wind from west giving Scandlines favourable conditions for using Rotor Sails on the ferry crossing.
Preparations for the retrofit will take place in November 2019 with the installation scheduled for Q2 2020. The ferry is set to be retrofitted with one large-sized Norsepower Rotor Sail unit that is 30m in height and 5m in diameter.
NABU, the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, is pleased with Scandlines’ decision to further reduce CO2 emission:
Scandlines is continuing to invest in green technology.
All 16 thrusters on Scandlines’ hybrid Puttgarden-Rødby route will be replaced with new thrusters. The EUR 13 million investment will reduce underwater noise and vibration caused by the ferries, for the benefit of maritime life in the Fehmarnbelt region. In addition, the more homogeneous flow of water during navigation reduces emissions.
On the route Rostock-Gedser, Scandlines has partnered up with Rostock Port GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute of the University of Rostock, for a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The aim is to make the loading processes of the hybrid ferries more efficient, in order to keep the speed and associated emissions during the sea passage as low as possible.
There are also (earlier announced) plans to mount Flettner rotor sails on the hybrid ferries of the Rostock-Gedser line, BERLIN and COPENHAGEN.
Scandlines’ blue print of its business plan foresees a future with zero emissions.
Scandlines is doing well. Last year, it was especially cargo that saw an increase, 11% on Rostock-Gedser and 5% on Puttgarden-Rødby.
The two hybrid ferries on the Rostock-Gedser route also showed a solid result – in the summer they carried over 16,000 passengers a day for the first time.
As usual, the shipping company’s first half of 2019 was stable, although truck volumes were not quite up to the level of previous year.
In passenger car traffic, Scandlines slightly exceeded the previous year’s figures.
Scandlines Files a Lawsuit Against the Plan Approval for the Construction of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link
Scandlines filed a lawsuit against the “plan approval” decision for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link at the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig (8 May).
In the Federal Republic of Germany, the “plan approval” is a special administrative procedure to be carried out on the permissibility of significant infrastructure projects.
Despite numerous adjustments to the plan documents in the course of the planning approval procedure, a large number of planning deficits have still not been remedied. Some of these unresolved issues have a direct negative impact on Scandlines’ ferry and business operations.
“After extensive examination of the documents established by the decision of 31 January 2019 we came to the conclusion that this legal step is inevitable. Scandlines will continue to operate after the tunnel opening. In the future, we want to continue to offer our customers the same high-quality ferry service we have been offering for over 55 years, “says Søren Poulsgaard Jensen, Scandlines’ CEO.
While the Danish project promoter denies the possibilities of a ferry operation parallel to the tunnel, an expert report commissioned by the planning approval authority comes to a completely different conclusion. This will continue to attribute 40% of the roadside freight traffic to the ferry line – plus a significant number of passengers.
The prerequisite for this, however, is fair and balanced tunnel planning, which also takes into account the legitimate interests of Scandlines.
Scandlines Maintained Profitability In 2018, With Stable Operations And High Reliability Levels
The group’s two ferry routes completed more than 43,000 departures and transported 7.4 million passengers between Germany and Denmark. Freight traffic increased by 7% and surpassed 700,000 units in 2018.
Key figures (in EUR)
Group Revenue declined 2%: 477 million (487 million). Reason is a slight decline in car traffic and BorderShop visits driven by the unseasonably warm weather in the period from May to September, which dampened Scandinavians’ need to travel South.
Revenue from the two ferry routes was unchanged at 352 million following strong performance in the freight segment and continued progress on the Rostock-Gedser route, compensating for slightly declining leisure traffic on the Puttgarden-Rødby route during the year.
BorderShop revenue declined to 125 million (135 million) due to lower leisure travel and a weakening of the Swedish currency, which reduced Swedish customers’ incentive to visit the group’s BorderShops.
Profitability was maintained in 2018 as Scandlines generated profit from ordinary activities (recurring EBITDA) of 191 million (194 million) corresponding to a stable recurring EBITDA margin of 40% (40%).
While profitability was satisfactory and driven mainly by higher freight volumes and cost control, we are still far from reaching results posted by fixed connections and other infrastructure companies in the region.
The Norwegian parliament has decreed that the country’s UNESCO-protected fjords shall be free from cruise and ferry emissions no later than 2026.
The measures cover emissions to air, discharge of grey and black water, and visible plume from the funnel.
DNV GL spoke with State Secretary Atle Hamar in the Ministry of Climate and Environment to explore the thinking behind the order, and gain insights on how they plan to achieve this highly ambitious goal.
New Thrusters On Scandlines’ Hybrid Ferries Will Reduce Underwater Noise And Air Emissions In The Fehmarn Belt
All thrusters on Scandlines’ four hybrid ferries on the route between Puttgarden and Rødby will be exchanged with new thrusters that allow a homogenous water flow, which gives less noise and vibration. The exchange lessens the environmental impact significantly. Reduced underwater noise and less vibration can improve the conditions for the marine life in the Fehmarn Belt area – among these the harbour porpoises. Furthermore, easier water flow during propulsion ultimately reduces emissions, including CO2.
The total investment in the new thrusters is more than 13 million EUR.
The first ferry will have its thrusters exchanged in the autumn of 2019 and all ferries will be equipped with the new thrusters in 2020.
The 16 new thrusters will be delivered by Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine, together with a new automation and control system for each ship.