Ferry Business - Autumn/Winter 2022

8 4 INTERV IEW A dedicated team effort Justin Merrigan asks Carsten Nørland how Scandlines is progressing on the path to normality and delivering improved environmental performance even with the challenging marketplace Now that I am once again travelling throughout the ferry world, I can only salute all those operators fighting the good fight for a return to normality. One such company is Scandlines, which transported 7.2 million passengers, 1.7 million cars and around 700,000 freight units between Germany and Denmark on the Puttgarden-Rødby and Rostock-Gedser routes in 2019. In 2020, the pandemic forced authorities to close borders between Germany and Denmark and implement temporary restrictions for travellers wanting to enter the countries. Overnight, Scandlines’ business was severely impacted by the extreme market conditions. But now that more people are vaccinated and travel restrictions are being lifted, how is passenger demand changing? “We navigated through the ramifications of Covid-19 thanks to a dedicated team effort and improved performance in a challenging market,” says Carsten Nørland, CEO of Scandlines. “To protect our employees and other stakeholders, we swiftly established teams focused on assessing risks, preparing contingency plans and ensuring compliance with recommendations and regulatory demands through training sessions and other proactive initiatives. We expect to continue on the path to normality despite a continued negative impact of Covid-19 repercussions on traffic volumes.” Despite recent challenges, Scandlines continues to invest to improve sustainability across its business, something it has been focused on for several years. Between 2013 and 2016, it implemented a new hybrid propulsion system on all passenger ferries, which marked a quantum leap in green ferry operations. “Scandlines not only operates the world’s largest fleet of hybrid ferries, but the system is also being copied worldwide and has been a huge success,” says Nørland. “Now we are ready to take the next big step and install the first zero direct emission ferry in 2024. The ferry will be emission-free with a crossing time of 70 minutes, and it will also be able to operate as a hybrid ferry with a crossing time of 45 minutes to serve as backup for the current passenger ferries. The ferry will also be prepared for methanol engines.” Scandlines has also achieved success with its investments in the Norsepower rotor sail. Following the successful