Ship extension project aims to reduce costs

Small rise in energy consumption is set to reduce operating costs and environmental impact.

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Updated on 27 Aug 2008 11:41 GMT

Danish shipping company DFDS A/S has signed a contract with MWB Motorenwerke Bremerhaven AG for the extension of three ro-ro cargo ships in a move which is aimed to reduce costs and environmental impact.

In a company statement, DFDS said the Tor Begonia, Tor Ficaria and Tor Freesia are to be extended by 30 metres. The conversion is scheduled to take place in 2009.

Commenting on the freight expansion project, Peder Gellert Pedersen [pictured], Executive Vice President, Ro-Ro Shipping and Terminal Services, said “Even though the ships provided a great increase in capacity when they were delivered a few years ago we already lack capacity on our North Sea routes between Sweden and the United Kingdom, which continue to show good growth.

"By extending the ships we are increasing the cargo carrying capacity for trailers, lorries, cars and other cargo by approximately 25 percent, and as the ships hardly increase their energy consumption this will also reduce our operating costs and environmental impact per transport unit.

"Concentrating the freight on fewer but larger ships is one of the most effective ways of reducing costs and environmental impact,” added Pedersen.

After the extension, the ships will be 230 metres long and able to carry approximately 4,700 lane metres of freight. The total investment amounts to DKK 280 million (US$55 million), of which DKK 170(US$33 million) will be carried out in 2008 and the rest in 2009.

With this new investment, the company's total investments for 2008 will increase to about DKK 400 million (US$78.5 million) against the DKK 200 million (US$39.3 million) previously predicted.

The ships will continue to operate on the route between Gothenburg and Immingham.

With the extension and modernization of the fleet, Pedersen says Ro-Ro Shipping will be well prepared in terms of tonnage when the current break in growth is replaced by new growth in the market.