Monday, April 15, 2019

New RoPax Vessels Will Set New Standards for Freight and Passengers Says Ferry Group

Longer and More Luxurious and Blessed by Tradition
Shipping News Feature
SWEDEN – CHINA – EUROPE – Ferry group Stena Line has seen the latest edition to its growing fleet of RoPax vessels 'float off' at a ceremony in China when the second of its new generation E-Flexer series hit the water. Once again the ship follows Scandinavian heritage with her name, Stena Edda derived from the Norse Edda central medieval collection of poems and divine mythology.

The series of five ships are being constructed at the Avic Weihai Shipyard in China and the Stena Edda is scheduled to enter service on the Belfast-Liverpool route in spring 2020. This is the second of three new E-Flexer vessels bound for the Irish Sea during 2020 and 2021 and represents a significant multi-million investment by Stena Line in the region. Chinese mythology also was invoked when the ceremony commenced at 13:18 hours local time and the float out at 18:00 hours to ensure good fortune, 18 being considered a fortuitous number in China.

At 215 metres, all three vessels being built for the Irish Sea will be larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels and will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane metres and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew. For Belfast – Liverpool capacity will increase by almost 20% compared to today. The next generation vessel is also well in line with the Stena Line strategic commitment to sustainability and will be extremely fuel efficient to reduce emissions. They will also feature a digitally enhanced customer experience. Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said:

“It’s very exciting to follow the building process and this is another very important milestone in our rolling construction programme. This investment underscores our commitment to our operations on the Irish Sea and our determination to deliver the best possible freight and travel experience for our customers. This is a very exciting time for our business and I’m proud that as Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line continues help shape the industry for the next generation of freight and leisure passengers.”

In addition to the three Irish Sea bound E-Flexer vessels, Stena Line has also ordered a further two E-Flexer RoPax vessels with a larger design, to be deployed within Stena Line’s network in 2022. These larger ships will be 240 meters long with a total freight capacity of 3,600 lane metres, and passenger capacity of 1,200. Stena Lines sister company Stena RoRo is managing all the E-Flexer building projects that are ongoing at the Avic Weihai Shipyard. Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director, Irish Sea North, commented:

Stena Edda will deliver many benefits to our freight and travel customers including faster and easier loading/unloading with drive through decks and new port infrastructures. Our latest design in cabins and further enhancement of our Scandinavian inspired interiors will make these new ships the largest, most spacious and most comfortable ships ever to sail between Belfast and Liverpool.”