DFDS Seaways and Forth Ports will invest over EUR 6 million in the future of the Rosyth-Zeebrugge freight route, following a meeting with the First Minister of Scotland to discuss the investment plan. This includes new environmental technology, a fuel optimisation programme and infrastructure adjustments at the terminal in Scotland.
The importance of a continuation of the only RoRo freight route connecting Scotland to the Continent has been highlighted during yesterday’s meeting between the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, CEO of Forth Ports Charles Hammond and CEO of DFDS Niels Smedegaard. They discussed route developments and the concrete investment plan for which the basis has been laid in November 2014 when the three parties published a joint statement to secure the route’s future.
“We are very pleased with the investment programme as it will secure a long-term perspective for the Rosyth-Zeebrugge route and enable companies to continue to use a direct, environmentally friendly means of transport between Scotland and the Continent,” says Stein van Est, Route Director DFDS Seaways.
A vital link for Scottish economy
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon comments: “The Rosyth to Zeebrugge freight route is a vital link for Scotland’s economy and hugely important for the large number of customers who use it to get their goods in and out of the country. It is therefore extremely welcome news that DFDS is to continue to operate this service. The investment in port improvements by Forth Ports is also a vital component of increasing the capacity and efficiency of the service. Along with all parties we are committed to work together to look at new ways of increasing and improving its service for years to come.”
A new environmental technology
The investment plan by DFDS includes the investment in a technology that removes sulphur from the exhaust gases – the so-called scrubber technology – and a fuel optimisation programme on Finlandia Seaways, the DFDS vessel operating on the route. This investment will help to secure the long-term sustainability of the route and the scrubber will be installed during the vessel’s next dry-dock period by the end of this year.
In addition, Forth Ports will carry out the necessary infrastructure adjustments to the Port of Rosyth to facilitate the double-stacking of containers on board the vessel. This will increase the freight capacity of the vessel by an extra 300 lane metres, as demanded by our Scottish and Continental customers. “The route is an important economic generator for Scotland, servicing the general, chemicals, food & drinks and automotive sectors. The Infrastructural adjustments are about EUR 1 million and we expect this work to be completed in autumn this year,” says Charles Hammond, CEO of Forth Ports.