Scandlines completes investment project in low-noise thrusters

10 October 2022

As the last of the four hybrid ferries operating between Puttgarden (Germany) and Rodby (Denmark), the double-ended ferry Prinsesse Benedikte has just had four new thrusters installed. The new thrusters are far more efficient and thus energy-saving than the previous push thrusters. Accordingly, Scandlines completes a EUR 13 million investment project in upgrading the Fehmarn ferries and at the same time significantly reduces its environmental impact.

The propulsion system of the hybrid ferry consists of four thrusters – one at each corner of the ferry. The whole entity (thruster) can rotate around its vertical axis and thereby function as a rudder. The new thrusters ensure a more homogeneous flow through the water, resulting in less noise and vibration. Less underwater noise and less vibration provide better conditions for marine life in the Fehmarnbelt, including harbour porpoises. In addition, the more homogeneous water flow ultimately reduces emissions, including CO2.

Together with the new thrusters, head boxes were installed which slightly change the ship hull around the thruster to further optimise the water flow to the propeller. A total of 16 thrusters were replaced on the four hybrid ferries operating on the Fehmarnbelt. The total investment in new thrusters is more than EUR 13 million.

"With the completed project, we have reduced CO2 emissions from the hybrid ferries by up to 15 percent and thus taken an important step towards zero emission ferries on the Puttgarden-Rodby route. We are very pleased that this can be combined with less impact on the marine environment in the Fehmarnbelt," says Michael Guldmann Petersen, COO of Scandlines.

The 16 new thrusters as well as the new thruster control system for the bridge of each vessel have been delivered by Kongsberg Maritime.

In parallel with the replacement of the thrusters of the hybrid ferries, Scandlines' simulator in Puttgarden has also been upgraded so that the crew has been optimally prepared for the new propulsion system.

Climate and environmental issues have long had top priority on Scandlines' agenda. As early as 2013, the ferry company invested in hybrid ferries with battery banks, and in 2024 the first zero direct emission ferry will be inserted on the Puttgarden-Rodby route. Only six years later, in 2030, the entire route will be emission-free.

Image by Scandlines

Data for Scandlines’ thruster project:
• Before: push thrusters with propeller drive at the back (Contaz 35)
• Now: pull thrusters with propeller drive at the front (Azipull 120 FP)
• Weight: 25 tons each
• Diameter: 3.2 metres
• Number: 16
• CO 2 reduction: up to 15 percent
• Investment: more than EUR 13 million

About Scandlines
Scandlines is a modern and innovative ferry operator with a green vision for the future. We have a proud culture based on strong German-Danish cooperation and maritime history dating back to 1872.

Scandlines operates two ferry routes with high capacity and frequency. Six of our ferries are hybrid ferries, and two are furthermore fitted with an innovative rotor sail – and that contributes to making our ferries greener.

Our core business is to provide an efficient and reliable transport service for both passengers and freight customers. The focus for all our activities – on board the ferries as well as in our BorderShops – is to give our customers a great experience.

With more than 38,000 departures on seven ferries, Scandlines in 2021 transported over 3.6 million passengers, 950,000 cars and around 720,000 freight units on the routes Puttgarden-Rodby and Rostock-Gedser.

Scandlines press release