Stena Line said construction on two large E-Flexer vessels has commenced in Weihai, China
Both E-Flexer vessels will be 240-m long with a load capacity of 3,600 lane m, compared to the first three which are 214-m long and have a load capacity of 3,100 lane m. The larger vessels have 50% more cabins and beds, a 30% increased passenger capacity and an additional 15% cargo capacity. The two longer vessels will 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.”
The new vessels will incorporate an efficient loading and unloading system with drive-through lanes in the two levels. The vessels are expected to be up to 30% more energy efficient than existing vessels in the fleet, thanks to optimum design of the hulls, propellers, bulbs and rudders.
In addition to the five newbuilds, two existing vessels in the company’s fleet, Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey, will be extended by 36 m and modified with efficient drive-through capabilities for loading and unloading in two levels. In total, the modifications will increase cargo capacity by 30% and add 75 cabins. The two vessels are expected to be back in traffic in Stena Line’s network in 2021. All five vessels are delivered gas-ready, to allow conversion to methanol or LNG fuel.
Mr Mårtensson said “We continue to build on our successful ropax concept with a mix of freight and passengers. By modernising and standardising our vessel fleet, we ensure a reliable operation can support and grow with our customers.
As part of Stena Line’s fleet modernisation, the five E-Flexer vessels were ordered from sister company Stena RoRo, and are being built at China’s CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard. The first two, Stena Estrid and Stena Edda, entered service on the Irish Sea earlier this year. The third vessel, Stena Embla, is in the final stages of construction and is expected to go into service on the Belfast-Liverpool in early 2021.
The two larger newbuildings were ordered in 2018 and the delivery is expected in 2022. The company is yet to reveal where the two large E-Flexer vessels, or the extended vessels Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey, will operate.
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