This month, Molslinjen, the Danish ferry operator owned by Swedish infrastructure and real assets investor EQT, announced a major breakthrough in its bid to electrify its passenger boat fleet. On October 1, Molslinjen began regular operations of its first fully electric ferry on one of its most popular routes. The electric ferry, named Grotte, will provide a sustainable means of transportation connecting the Danish coastal town of Esbjerg with the isle of Fanø, off the coast of southwestern Denmark.
EQT and Molslinjen described the electric ferry debut as part of the company’s broader sustainability agenda, aiming at decarbonizing some of the most important travel corridors in Denmark, where ferries are a prominent component of the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Molslinjen’s routes are planned around a network of “floating bridges” connecting major Danish population centers and linking several key islands with the mainland. The ferry owner-operator’s centrality to Denmark’s overall transportation system puts Molslinjen in an unusually impactful position to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint.
EQT Infrastructure acquired Molslinjen in March 2021 with the stated aim of investing directly in the decarbonization of its ferry fleet and an acceleration of its transition to renewable fuel sources.
Grotte is propelled by two electrical propulsion motors and charges automatically when docked at Esbjerg Harbor. Grotte complements the two existing ferries on the Fanø route, Fenja and Menja, enabling a three-ferry operation and creating additional capacity on the route that carries 1.8 million passengers every year. Fenja and Menja is currently transitioning to fossil free biofuel and with the new ferry set-up in place, CO2 emissions on the route will be reduced up to 96 percent, compare to if the three ferries operated on marine diesel.
“We are on a mission to future-proof Molslinjen as it continues to be a market leader in the drive towards more sustainable maritime transportation and a greener tomorrow,” said EQT Infrastructure partner Carl Sjölund. “EQT Infrastructure supports the management team in their ambition to continue investing in sustainable and innovative solutions for Molslinjen’s ferry fleet in order to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Electrification is part of the solution, and we look to play an important part in putting in place the next generation of sustainable ferries for Denmark’s wider transportation infrastructure network.”
“We have very much been looking forward to seeing Grotte in action, and as an important transportation infrastructure company, we are looking to embrace new technology that will help lead us and Danish ferry operations to form a greener future,” said Molslinjen CEO Carsten Jensen. “Grotte is a small ferry on a short route – but for us it is a big step on an important journey to become carbon-neutral by actively investing in sustainable transportation infrastructure.”