Feature, Freight News, Sea

Stena pushes ahead with retonnaging plan – updated

[ June 29, 2020   //   ]

Stena Line has started construction of two new larger E-Flexer ferries in Weihai, China, despite the Corona crisis. The vessels were ordered in 2018 and delivery is expected in 2022.

They are the last of five vessels of the E-Flexer series that Stena Line ordered from sister company Stena RoRo

The first two, Stena Estrid and Stena Edda, have already entered service on the Irish Sea earlier this year. The third vessel, Stena Embla, is in the final stages of construction and has been confirmed for service on the Belfast-Liverpool route as planned in early 2021.

The two larger E-Flexer vessels will be 240 meters long with a load capacity of 3,600 length meters, compared to the first three which are 214 meters long and have a load capacity of 3,100 length meters. In total, the larger vessels will also have 15% more cargo capacity.

All five vessels are delivered gas-ready, to allow conversion to methanol or LNG fuel. The two longer vessels will also be equipped to use shore power during port calls to reduce emissions. The electricity connection also enables a conversion to electric hybrid in the future.

Stena Line chief executive Niclas Mårtensson said: “Despite a tough time during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have shown how important Stena Line is to linking Europe’s freight and passenger transport and vital supply lines. We believe in continued growth and demand in all our markets and with the new ferries in place we will be well equipped for the future.”

Stena said it would drydock six of its Irish Sea vessels at Harland and Wolff’s Belfast shipyard this summer for a range of repairs and upgrades.  Currently the Stena Europe, which operates on the Rosslare-Fishguard service, is dry-there with the final works project due to be completed on the Superfast VIII (Belfast-Cairnryan service) at the end of September.