The new vessel of the Kiel Tug and Ferry Company (SFK) will be called ‘MS Friedrichsort’, christened on 24 March 2022 on Kiel’s Reventlou bridge. This is already the second plug-in hybrid ferry for the SFK – the godmother is Astrid Leßmann, a member of the SFK Supervisory Board and Kiel council member.

‘For the SFK today, this is the first of three new ships that we are welcoming this year to our fleet’, said SFK Managing Director, Andreas Schulz. “Despite the ongoing corona crisis, the contractual building period was adhered to at Holland Shipyard Werft in Hardinxveld-Giessendam,” said Andreas Schulz, praising the successful cooperation with the Dutch shipyard. On 1 March, the ship was presented to SFK in Kiel and on Friday 25 March, the MS Friedrichsort will commence scheduled service, explained SFK Operations Manager, Michael Maibom.

The MS Friedrichsort means that another ship with modern and cutting-edge technology will be operating in the public transport system on the Kiel Fjord on ferry line F1. In her welcoming address, Mayor Renate Treutel of state capital Kiel underlined that Kiel port will become even more environmentally-friendly through the new ferry: “With the ‘MS Friedrichsort’, the SFK fleet is gaining a technically forward-looking ferry – one that simultaneously advances Kiel’s mobility transition. There is still much to do for climate-friendly, affordable, attractive and safe mobility. The pivot of fjord ferry transport to electric and hybrid solutions is an important step in the right direction.”

“Public transport on the water will benefit from the new build, because up to 300 ferry guests can enjoy barrier-free access on board the main deck and we can additionally bring 40 individual parkable bikes,” says Andreas Schulz. Passengers will be able to board quickly and easily using two 1.6m-wide access ramps.

As is the case with its sister vessel MS Gaarden, the passenger flows are to be separated to reflect the travelling times: tourist passengers are to occupy the upper deck, with passengers with shorter travelling times on the main deck. The many outdoor seats of the main deck and the upper deck as well as the floor-to-ceiling windows provide a refreshing feeling of well-being on board.

The 33.65m long and 9.08m wide ship fulfils all technical requirements for climate-friendly shipping: with plug-in hybrid technology and the new gas-to-liquid fuel as well as an additional exhaust gas purifier, the SFK is responding to the needs of climate protection.

The electricity for the electric traction motors, with 255 KW each, is provided fully by the batteries in the ‘local zero-emission zone’ – between the Bahnhofsbrücke Kiel and Bellevue landing stages. Only afterwards are the two generator sets turned on, each with 305 KW, in order to provide the power for the electric traction motors, enable further travel on the Kiel Fjord and to recharge the batteries.

The building costs for the MS Friedrichsort are around 4 million euros. The ship’s acquisition was subsidised by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) – 40 per cent of the additional costs for the purchase of the electric drive components.

“With the now second plug-in hybrid ferry on the Kiel Fjord it is even more clear that electric mobility in public transport has also come to the waterways”, summarises Dr. Christopher Stanik, Team leader of maritime applications at the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW). “This funding from the Immediate Clean Air Programme via the electric mobility funding guideline of the BMDV is a future investment in a lighthouse project that sends a strong signal for climate-friendly urban ferry shipping.”

The SFK is coming ever closer to Kiel’s goal of offering climate-friendly public transport, including on its waterways. At the end of May 2022, a third plug-in hybrid ship is expected in Kiel. At the end of June, the SFK is looking forward to a second fully-electric ferry that then will enable the fully electric operation of the F2 Schwentine line with two ferries.

To the press release of SFK