Millions are to be invested in improving the sea freight link between Rosyth and Europe.
DFDS Seaways and Forth Ports have pledged to jointly invest €6 million in upgrades for the key ro-ro sea route between Rosyth and Zeebrugge.
Details of the investment plan – which include the introduction of new environmental technologies, a fuel optimisation programme and improvements to the terminal at Rosyth – were outlined to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a meeting with Forth Ports CEO Charles Hammond and his DFDS counterpart, Niels Smedegaard recently
The trio also discussed potential route development plans.
“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,” said Stein van Est, route director for DFDS Seaways.
As part of the wider project, Forth Ports has committed to completing the necessary infrastructure adjustments at Rosyth to allow for the double-stacking of containers.
The changes will increase the freight capacity by an extra 300 lane metres – a move that has been called for by customers using the link.
Mr Hammond said:
“The route is an important economic generator for Scotland, servicing the general, chemicals, food and drinks and automotive sectors. The infrastructural adjustments are about €1m and we expect this work to be completed in autumn this year.”
The First Minister said the freight route was hugely important for trade.
“It is therefore extremely welcome news that DFDS is to continue to operate this service,” added Ms Sturgeon. “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.”