New Stena vessels coming to the Mersey after £17m port upgrade

Joint venture between Peel Ports and Stena Line to upgrade the Twelve Quays terminal at Birkenhead paves the way for the new ships from spring 2020

Stena E-Flexer
Image of a Stena Line E-Flexer vessel which will operate the Birkenhead to Belfast route


A £17m project to upgrade the Twelve Quays terminal on the River Mersey in Birkenhead will enable the next generation of Irish Sea ferries to begin operation from 2020.

The joint venture between Peel Ports and Birkenhead to Belfast ferry operator Stena Line is almost complete and will see the dock expand to service Stena’s new roro (roll-on/roll-off) vessels.

Stena operates a twice-daily service on most days between Twelve Quays and Belfast, mainly using the vessels Stena Mersey and Stena Lagan. The company’s new fleet will of E-Flexer ships will operate the route from spring 2020.

As part of a 25-year commitment by the Swedish firm the new vessels will increase capacity and reduce turnaround times on the route.

They are larger than the current 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. They are also highly fuel efficient to help reduce emissions.

Twelve Quays
Upgrade work on the Twelve Quays terminal at Birkenhead is almost complete


David Huck, managing director – group ports from Peel Ports, said: “The past two years have seen heavy investment in the infrastructure at Twelve Quays to offer enhanced berthing facilities for larger, more modern vessels, helping reduce turnaround times and open up opportunities to grow the region’s import and export offering by expanding capacity by 20%.

It’s also allowed us to extend our long-term partnership with Stena Line as it takes the next steps in its major fleet investment programme, with freight and travel customers able to take advantage of faster and easier loading and unloading.”

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