A partnership comprising PensionDanmark and Odense Maritime Technology has been elected to cooperate with Færgesekretariatet on the development of a new standardised ferry solution for small Danish islands and crossings. Færgesekretariatet represents 18 municipalities, which all have ferry services, and for which it will be possible to use the new ferry solution when it is completed.
”We are thrilled that we together with our partners have the opportunity to contribute to a modern, flexible and sustainable solution for the ferry services to the smaller Danish islands and crossings. The project fits perfectly with our strategy to create positive returns on our members’ pension savings through innovative and sustainable investments, containing a positive contribution to society and creating better conditions for the Danish island population”, says Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO of PensionDanmark.
In close cooperation with Færgesekretariatet, the consortium offers to develop the future ferries, which will be designed on a standardised frame that can be adapted to the specific requests and needs of the individual ferry services. The ferries are offered on long-term leasing agreements to the municipalities, which for a fixed fee have full right of disposal over the ferries and thus retain full responsibility for the daily operation of the services.
A joint ferry concept implies economy of scale while providing a new and qualified sounding board for the municipalities to help them optimise ferry services and adapt to passenger’s needs in order to back the cross-municipal cooperation and over time enable more departures at the same price.
“The model we have offered the municipalities reduces their risk and tied-up capital and at the same time makes it possible to optimise their ferry services through competent feed-back. It provides greater flexibility and safety from potential operational risks and not least, a future-proof and sustainable ferry solution developed by experienced vessel designers, vessel engineers and vessel investors. It is truly a win-win-win situation for the consortium, the municipalities and the passengers”, says Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO of PensionDanmark.
The forthcoming development process will determine the exact design of the standard ferry. The starting point for the consortium is that the ferries must emit as little greenhouse gases as possible and thereby be a more climate friendly solution than the current ferries, which often run on diesel. Thus, the model supports the recent political agreement and ambition within the transport area, where funds are earmarked to the green transition of municipal ferry services.
”We are very proud that Færgesekretariatet has chosen our consortium to develop a new standardised solution for the ferries of the future”, says Kåre Groes Christiansen, CEO of Odense Maritime Technology.
The concept of a standard ferry is similar to the way the car industry creates several different models on the same product platform and is well suited to strategy of Odense Maritime Technology to develop and sell broad product solutions within maritime infrastructure rather than standalone vessel projects.
“We also expect the ferry concept to be attractive abroad, and thus it also has the potential to create even more Danish jobs within the maritime sector in the long term. The offering of robust product solutions creates a foundation for export and thus an effective leverage of the CO2 reduction created in Denmark. Thus, the Danish municipalities can not only take part in the local reduction of CO2 – they can also make an indirect contribution to the global CO2 reduction when they become a show-room for how Denmark has solved the task of deploying green ferry solutions,” says Kåre Groes Christiansen.
The consortium and Færgesekretariatet are yet to develop the ferry concept, which is expected to be ready in the end of 2021.
Færgesekretariatet represents 18 municipalities with ferry services to a total of 26 small Danish islands and a number of smaller crossings.
In October 2020, Færgesekretariatet initiated an innovation tender for a standard ferry concept as an alternative to the present mode, where the individual municipalities purchase their own ferries to service the small Danish islands.
Now, the tender has been concluded with a partnership comprising PensionDanmark and Odense Maritime Technology as the winner. PensionDanmark contributes with the financing while Odense Maritime Technology is responsible for designing and developing the ferry concept.
MEQ acts on behalf of the partnership as investment advisor together with a number of subcontractors, among others Jens Kristensen, who has designed the full electric ferry M/E Ellen, which sails between Søby on Ærø and Fynshav on Als.
Now follows a process of development where the consortium and Færgesekretariatet, in close collaboration with the municipalities, will work together on developing the standard ferry concept before it is offered to the municipalities.
The 18 municipalities represented by Færgesekretariatet are:
Head of Press Ulrikke Ekelund, PensionDanmark, tel: +45 2019 9238.
CEO Kåre Groes Christiansen, Odense Maritime Technology, tel: +45 2140 4422.
Head of Secretariat Jan Fritz Hansen, Færgesekretariatet, tel: +45 2916 2207.