FERRY company Stena Line has reached an important milestone in its major new fleet investment programme with the steel cutting of a third E-Flexer RoPax ship to be deployed on its Irish Sea routes.
This means that all three of Stena Line’s new E-Flexer ships, planned to enter into service on the Irish Sea during 2020 and 2021, are now under construction at the Avic Weihai Shipyard in China.
The first of the new vessels will commence operation on the Dublin to Holyhead route in early 2020, with the remaining two ships to be introduced on theBelfast to Liverpool route in 2020 and 2021.
Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director, Irish Sea North, commented: “We are delighted to report that the steel cutting ceremony for the third of our Irish Sea E-Flexer ships has now taken place and that construction is going to plan across all three of our new generation RoPax vessels.
“We are looking forward to welcoming two of the new fleet on our expanding Belfast to Liverpool service.
“These ships will be the biggest ever to operate on the route and will increase capacity for freight and travel customers as well as raising service standards.
“They will also be among the most energy efficient ferries in the world with significantly lower CO2 emissions per freight unit against comparable RoPax tonnage.
“Their introduction, following on from the purchase this year of our Superfast ships on the Belfast to Cairnryan route, is a real vote of confidence in the development of our operations in this region and lays the foundation for continued future growth,” added Mr Grant.
All three Irish Sea E-Flexer vessels will be bigger than today’s standard RoPax vessels at 215 meters long with a freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers.
Stena Line Chief Operating Officer Peter Arvidsson commented: “Having visited the site several times, we are very impressed with the work being carried out by Stena RoRo, the Avic shipyard and its subcontractors.”
“With continued investment in our fleet, we want to lead the development of sustainable shipping and set new industry standards when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competiveness,” added Mr Arvidsson.
Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes between Ireland and Britain including Belfast to Liverpool, Belfast to Heysham, Belfast to Cairnryan, Dublin to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard, a total of 232 weekly sailings.
Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with three return crossings a week.