Work under way on two new vessels for Stena’s Birkenhead-Belfast route

Swedish ferry operator says three of its next generation E-Flexer RoPax vessels are now under construction in China for deployment on the Irish Sea in 2020 and 2021. Tony McDonough reports

Stena Line
Stena Line’s new E-Flexer RoPax vessels are being built at the Avic Weihai shipyard in China


Ferry operator Stena Line says work has started on the next generation of vessels to be deployed on its Birkenhead to Belfast route.

Currently Stena Mersey, Stena Lagan and Stena Precision all ply the Irish Sea route between the Mersey and Northern Ireland sailing to and from the Twelve Quays terminal on the Wirral side of the river.

More capacity

However, as part of its wider fleet investment programme, the Swedish company says three of its new E-Flexer RoPax vessels are now under construction in China. The first of the trio will operate on is Holyhead to Dublin route in early 2020 with the other two introduced on the Birkenhead to Belfast route on in 2020 and 2021.

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All three Irish Sea E-Flexer vessels will be bigger than today’s standard RoPax vessels at 215 metres long with a freight capacity of 3,100 lane metres and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers. 

Stena Line has also ordered a further two E-Flexer RoPax vessels with a larger design, to be deployed within its network in 2022.  These larger ships will be 240 metres long with a total freight capacity of 3,600 lane metres, and passenger capacity of 1,200.

Stena E-Flexer
Image of a Stena Line E-Flexer RoPax vessel will look


Steel cutting

Stena Line chief operating officer Peter Arvidsson said: “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.

“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 competitiveness.”

Internationally, Stena Line is one of Europe’s leading ferry companies with 38 vessels and 21 routes in Northern Europe. The company is family-owned, was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Gothenburg.

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