DFDS expands its capacity in the Baltic
New Ro-Pax vessel with capacity for 600 passengers and 2,500 lane metres for freight will
be entered into service in May 2009 between Germany and Lithuania.
DFDS is investing further to strengthen its route network in the Baltic Sea, where the
market for sea transport of freight and passengers is expected to continue to grow in the
coming years. Growth is being driven in particular by Russia, the CIS countries and the
Baltic countries. Capacity on the route network is therefore being expanded with a new
combined passenger/ freight vessel (Ro-Pax). It is being built at the Nuovi Cantieri
Apuania shipyard in Italy.
DFDS has acquired the vessel from Grimaldi Holding S.p.A., Palermo. The vessel is the fifth
newbuilding in a series of eight ordered by Grimaldi from the yard. The vessel is 200m in
length, 27m wide and will initially be fitted with 2,500 lane metres for freight and cars.
There will be a high standard capacity for 600 passengers. Service speed is 23 knots.
Agreement is for the vessel to be delivered in May 2009, when it will be entered into
service on DFDS' route between Kiel, Germany, and Klaipeda, Lithuania. Executive Vice
President Peder Gellert Pedersen says, "It will mean a significant improvement in the route,
both for passengers and freight passengers. After the addition of the vessel, the route will
be able to carry more passengers and more lane metres of freight, and I am sure that the
route will be an increasingly popular and comfortable alternative to the land route through
Germany and Poland, where rising road tolls and congestion are a hindrance to transport."
"At the same time, the addition of the new vessel will allow the Ro-Pax ship LISCO
OPTIMA to be used to expand capacity and improve quality elsewhere in our Baltic route
network," says Peder Gellert Pedersen.
The investment includes delivery, equipment and special fittings and totals DKK 600
million. Of this, DKK 100 million will be paid in 2008.
"This investment takes us further in our strategic goal of strengthening and expanding our
route network, especially aimed at our combined freight and passenger concept in the
Baltic," says DFDS CEO Niels Smedegaard. "At the same time we are lowering the age of