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Switch to fossil-free road ferries

22 September 2017

The Swedish Transport Administration's ferry company, Färjerederiet, has started the switch to fossil-free ferry operations. First out are the four ferries on Sweden's largest ferry line, Hönöleden outside Gothenburg, which switched to HVO biofuels in September.

Hönöleden's four ferries have accounted for the highest diesel consumption, and thus the carbon dioxide emissions, of all the ferries from Färjerederiet. A transition to the fossil-free alternative HVO (hydrogenated vegetable oil) gives with the maximum  an estimated reduction of 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. It is a significant proportion of the total emissions of 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from road ferries on the state leaders.

The transition to HVO is expected to be straightforward. Engines and fuel tanks work with the new biofuel and do not need retrofitting. After two years of use of HVO, the Ferry Company will evaluate the impact, both in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance needs.

"Compared with the total transport of greenhouse gases, the Ferry Company stands for a small proportion, but if Sweden is to achieve climate neutrality, the ferry operation's emissions need to be reduced," Anders Werner from Färjerederiet says.

Hönöleden between Lilla Varholmen and Hönö / Öckerö in Gothenburg's northern archipelago is Sweden's busiest road ferry. Last year, 3.2 million vehicles were transported on the trail. The free ferry route is 2,500 meters long and the crossing time is 12 minutes.

Read more at Färjerederiet (in Swedish):

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