CapMan Infra at the forefront of driving the green shift of the ferry sector in Norway by acquisition of Norled


Ferries are ubiquitous elements of the Norwegian fjord landscape and critical to the country’s transportation infrastructure. About 130 ferry crossings connect settlements without direct road access to the highway system on the mainland. At the same time, ferry operators are making an effort to minimise the environmental footprint of the sector.



In 2018, the Norwegian Parliament adopted a resolution with the goal to make the country’s fjords zero-emission zones by 2026. This means that any vessel wishing to enter any port, harbour or fjord will need to be operated without any emissions of CO2. As a result, the Norwegian ferry sector is undergoing a green shift driven by both environmental demands as well as new available technologies, with CapMan Infra at the forefront.

CapMan Infra invested in Norled together with the Canadian infrastructure investor CBRE Caledon in 2019. Similarly to the ferry sector at large, most of Norled’s vessels currently operate with marine gas oil and diesel, which have relatively high CO2 emissions. Going forward, most new contracts will be tendered with low or zero-emission requirements, hence requiring electric-powered ferries or other environmentally friendly technologies. As a result, significant investments to renew the ferry operator’s fleets are required.

Norled is a technological leader in the Norwegian ferry sector and was the first company in the world to introduce a fully electric car ferry. The company also recently won a contract to introduce the world’s first hydrogen-powered vessel concept, which will come into operation in 2021. Reducing the environmental footprint through winning zero-emission contracts is the most important component of Norled’s business plan. With CapMan Infra’s ownership, Norled will have access to both strong financial backing as well as new competences, in order to carry out a sizable investment programme to decrease the environmental footprint of its fleet.

In the full ESG due diligence preceding the investment, CapMan’s team recognised Norled having strong performance in the areas covered, and follow-up on ESG KPIs will be an integrated part of the development of Norleds business going forward. In addition to improving environmental performance, safety of both passengers and crew is instrumental for managing successful transportation operations. Norled has over 1,000 employees and transports around 17 million passengers and 9 million cars annually. CapMan Infra and CBRE Caledon will together with management work to secure Norleds position at the forefront of the green shift, while also being the safest marine transportation workplace in Norway.

Key targets:

  • Percentage of zero-emission vessels to increase from 1 today to a majority of Norled’s fleet, which today comprises of 49 ferries and 23 express boats.
  • CO2 footprint of the fleet reduced significantly, with exact targets to be determined together with Norled’s management
  • Zero serious workplace incidents
  • Employee satisfaction levels measured yearly to secure present high levels
  • Customer satisfaction levels measured to ensure high quality of service
  • Transparent dialogue with important stakeholders such as local communities and media