PORT OF KIEL welcomes new generation of RoPax ferries
by Julia Reichel
(Kiel, 21st September 2022) It is a special kind of first call: Late on Thursday afternoon, the ferry “Aura Seaways” operated by the Danish shipping company DFDS called at the PORT OF KIEL. It was the first time that a ship from the new generation of ferries berthed at the specifically optimised berths 5 and 6 at Ostuferhafen. Both the use of the new ramp and the subsequent loading and unloading went smoothly and could be completed in less than four hours. “Even if this week is just about the first three test runs, it is also the successful start of a new era in ferry traffic between Kiel – Klaipeda with DFDS as long-standing partner at our side”, emphasizes Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG. In the course of the loading and unloading process, the automatic recording of trucks at the berth was successfully tested using a corresponding video gate system. This is part of an extensive digitization measure for the terminal and is supposed to enable a fully automatic status change of the loading and unloading process in the future.
With a length of 230 meters and a loading capacity of 4500 lane meters for trucks as well as cabin space for up to 600 passengers, the “Aura Seaways” is one of the largest of its kind in the world. With one of the most modern scrubber systems, the ship also meets the new standards of the EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index). Compared to the current ferries on the route, the “Aura Seaways”, built in 2021, can reduce its carbon footprint by a fifth. After the first call on Tuesday, the ship will call at Kiel twice more this week. In the course of this week, the newly converted ramps at berths 5 and 6, which were specifically rebuild for the new generation ferries, are to be tested in particular. The corresponding construction measures were only completed a few weeks ago and are intended to make the terminal even more future-proof. So far, the smaller ferries “Athena Seaways” and “Victoria Seaways” have operated on the Kiel-Klaipeda route, and they will start operating again from Sunday.
The subsidized construction project “Ostuferhafen Kiel – expansion of the sea traffic axis to the Baltic States by upgrading RoRo ramps and optimizing routing” consists of two individual projects. Both combine the goal of more efficient use of space and future-oriented optimisation of the infrastructure at the terminal. The construction project was supported with funding from the state program for business with funds from the joint task “Verbesserung der regionalen Wirtschaftsstruktur” GRW (Improvement of the Regional Economic Structure, GRW) with the amount of 6.7 million euros. Overall, the construction project has a volume of 17.2 million euros. ##
Images and Videos for download: https://nc.portofkiel.com/index.php/apps/files/?dir=/PM%2021.09.22%20PM%20%22Aura%20Seaways%22&fileid=76337